The mental wellbeing impact of relocation on older LGBT people in NSW

Presentation Type: Oral
Conference Stream: Ageing and Aged Care
Presenter: Johann Kolstee, Elizabeth Burford
Presentation Title: The mental wellbeing impact of relocation on older LGBT people in NSW
Room: Fitzroy
Program schedule: Friday 14 August 2015 at 16:00
Duration: 20 mins

Summary

The issue of relocation from inner city to suburban or regional areas on older LGBT people was explored by ACON and the Mental Health Commission of NSW using the Mental Wellbeing Impact Assessment (MWIA) tool. ACON was selected as a case study site for the use of this innovative tool in NSW.
The current policy in relation to this issue is one of inaction. A lack of programs or services exist to support LGBT elders in securing adequate housing options within the inner city, and much social housing stock in inner city areas is significantly depleted . Many older LGBT people are forced, or likely to face, relocation from their traditionally LGBT ‘friendly’ inner-city neighbourhoods to more affordable housing options for seniors that are located primarily in suburban neighbourhoods or regional centres. Gay men and others living with HIV are living long and healthy lives but experience a particularly increased risk of discrimination in long-term care facilities. It is critical to better understand the effects of uprooting LGBT elders from their established homes on their mental wellbeing, and to identify interventions which may assist this process and support resilience to enable a healthy transition to new locations. Only with this understanding can proper policies and programs be put in place to improve the mental health and wellbeing of this group.

This presentation will provide an overview of the wellbeing impacts that were identified, both positive and negative, through the utilization of this tool and of the MWIA methodology.