A new resource pack has been launched to help those working in care homes and extra-care housing support older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals (OLGB).

‘We at Age Concern recognise that the situation for most lesbian, gay and bisexual people at the beginning of the 21st century is more positive, secure and affirming than ever before’ says the Age Concern website.

The pack clearly sets out the type of support that these groups might need and encourages managers and staff to think about their own attitudes and approaches. It uses real experiences and examples of good practice and obstacles to good practice. The pack also offers step by step guidance, including staffing issues, current legislation and care planning.

Age Concern explains that ‘that older people have lived a large part of their lives in less liberal times and that their experiences have made them understandably wary and cautious. In practice, this means older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are less likely to access services and will do so on limited terms.’

The publication is part of Age Concern’s Opening Doors programme of publications, resources and events for and about older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals www.ageconcern.org.uk/openingdoors Dame Denise Platt, Chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, commends the pack as “an excellent guide for managers and staff on how they recognise and respond to the particular needs of everyone who uses the service they provide.”

Gordan Lishman, Director-General of Age Concern, said: “Older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals – as well as their partners – who are living in care homes or sheltered accommodation need support to live a life where their values and needs are respected. This guide should help care-home professionals challenge their preconceptions and deliver a service to help all older people, regardless of sexuality, live an independent and fulfilling life.”

‘The whole of me . . .’ written by Sally Knocker is free and can be ordered from Mail Order at Age Concern England on 020 8765 7203