Six per cent of the LGBT population are currently 65+ and older (ONS statistics, 2010). This is an increase from the previous generation and will only continue to grow.
Michael Dillon, Managing Director of LGBT-friendly home care agency, ReassureCare and PinkNews advertiser says: “There’s no difference in the support needs of Gay LGBT or heterosexual people. We all want to remain supported in our own home for as long as possible. For them, the retirement home is the last resort. Being a gay friendly home care company means the joviality and laughter in their lives and in their homes can continue, no going back into the closet!”
Care and support services are increasingly run by the private sector; Mr Dillon is gay and says that his views on isolation, segregation and equality of recognition have shaped the business. The Directors of ReassureCare want the company to reflect the cultural mix they’ve grown up with and been a part of.
Mr Dillon explains: “It’s a huge decision to finally admit you need care. Along with the decision to allow “unknown” people into your home, you have the added dilemma, “Do I tell the home carer or home care agency that I am gay?
“At every step of the selection process: job applications, interviews, job offers and training we speak of the diversity of our business and our customers and emphasis how the business is actively seeking customers who may or not be LGBT. We aim to ensure that our teams have the same aspirations as ourselves.”
Single people & people with dementia
This is ReassureCare’s core customer base. The company says that people that live on their own need assistance with day-to-day activities, usually personal care, though more often than not are wanting of company. They want to retain the ownership of the relationship (an important aspect of independent living). Friends and be-friending, though important, is a co-dependent relationship.
When it comes to people with dementia, it is the partner or spouse who approaches ReassureCare for support. They want an organisation that reflects the values and diversity they grew up with. Director of Care Bobbie Mama says: “To date our clients pay directly for their care. ReassureCare though would definitely welcome clients with a Personal Budget provided through their local council.”
A ReassureCare client living in Stoke Newington, North London said: “It was wonderful to see such a refreshing website and even better it delivered on my expectations for my husband. Now that’s not what I have been used to.”
Another ReassureCare client in Westminster, central London could not express his relief at our service: “I can’t advise you enough of the palpable sense of relief I now feel, both at the professional and personal level. Our days are much brighter.”
Mr Dillon says: “Let’s not forget our clients, whether in a relationship or single,lack the family support so available to others and have lived an independent life out of choice or necessity and want to continue this for as long as possible.”
For more information about ReassureCare please click here
Disclosure: Reassure Care is a paying advertiser on PinkNews.co.uk