Embracing diversity this Pride Month

As Pride Month comes to an end, we are reminded of the importance of embracing diversity in all its forms and building inclusive communities.  

When 70-year-old Zoe decided to move into Foley Village at the beginning of the year, she did so with hesitation. As someone who identifies as bisexual, Zoe was apprehensive about joining a retirement village, concerned that the older demographic may be less open-minded and accepting of her sexuality. However, her fears were quickly put to rest as she was welcomed with open arms by residents. 

“I was worried about moving into a community of people who are older than me, and who I thought would be generally more socially conformist than I was because they are a different generation to me,” she said. 

“But it hasn’t proved to be a problem at all. I’m actually starting to forge some nice friendships.” 

Zoe has found a progressive set of neighbours who are working on sustainable living ideas in the village and is joining the singing group at the village Community Centre too. 

“I’ve connected with a couple of people who are very keen on solar power and solar batteries, and we have the intention to get active in the village to support sustainable energy. So, I’m certainly finding nice points of connection with people,” she said. 

Over 50% of older people accessing aged care have one or more attributes placing them in a diverse or marginalised group. Every day at Southern Cross Care (WA), we work to create an environment that celebrates inclusion and recognises the unique contributions each resident, client and employee brings to our community. As a not-for-profit aged care provider, we do not discriminate who we provide care to or who we accommodate in our facilities.  

Last year, SCC (WA) was proud to sign the joint statement between the Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA), affirming the rights and needs of LGBTIQ+ people in aged care. The joint statement between aged care providers, their peak bodies and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia presents a list of actions needed to ensure LGBTIQ+ people feel safe, comfortable, well-cared for and treated with respect, which we support.  

Signing the pledge was an important step to ensure the people in our care and in our communities receive equal and respectful support where the love and friendship between two people is preserved. 

We have also established a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, who will continue our work in this area.  

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