Older lesbian and gay adults’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators to accessing health and aged care services in Australia
Older lesbian and gay people can face considerable marginalisation, which may affect their perceptions and experiences of accessing health and aged care services. To inform strategies promoting accessibility, this study aimed to investigate perceived barriers and facilitators to health and aged care service access among older lesbian and gay adults. A sample of 752 cisgender lesbian women and gay men aged 60 years and older living in Australia responded to questions on a broad range of potential barriers and facilitators to service access. Several barriers and facilitators were commonly reported, with some differences between the women and the men. LGBTI inclusiveness was among commonly reported concerns. A majority of participants reported a lack of LGBTI-inclusive service providers and professionals as a barrier. A majority also reported a perceived lack of professionals adequately trained and competent to work with LGBTI individuals, with significantly more women than men indicating this as a barrier. Almost all participants indicated LGBTI-inclusive mainstream services as a facilitator for access. In all, inclusiveness appears to be a key issue for service access among older lesbian and gay people, which may need to be further addressed by service providers and policy makers for improving service accessibility.