Val's LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care
LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care News
The team at Val's, and Rainbow Health Victoria are thinking of everyone during these challenging times. I wanted to provide information that our director, Marina Carmen shared from the Rainbow Health Victoria helm yesterday...

Dear partners and colleagues,
The team at Rainbow Health Victoria would like to acknowledge the difficult time we all face with the current public health crisis caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). We are thinking of you all and know you are working hard to accommodate changing circumstances and to combat the spread and impact of this infection.
The current situation is understandably causing stress and uncertainty throughout all our communities. Within this, LGBTIQ communities experience poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide and self-harm, and could be at greater risk in relation to experiences of anxiety, depression and isolation.
We know already that older people, and those with underlying health issues, are at greater risk. LGBTIQ communities experience health disparities in areas such as HIV prevalence, risk for certain cancers, asthma, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Smoking rates have also been shown to be higher than the general population.  These are all risks associated with coronavirus health outcomes. In addition, crises such as this often impact more on those who are already socially and economically disadvantaged. For example, homelessness and unemployment are more prevalent in LGBTIQ communities, and the economic effects of coronavirus may also impact our communities disproportionately.
At this time, accessing available health and community support services will be more important than ever for LGBTIQ communities. But barriers to accessing services, such as anticipating or experiencing discrimination, may be heightened at times of stress.
Rainbow Health Victoria is asking organisations committed to supporting LGBTIQ communities to reach out and let people know that they are welcome at your service. Communication could include informing people about how your service might change, encouraging self-care and staying connected online while practicing ‘social distancing’, and sharing useful resources and links as these come to hand.
At Rainbow Health Victoria, we have ceased all face-to-face training and events and have moved rapidly to alternatives. We are in a good position to foster ongoing online engagement and the creation of new learning communities.
We will be using interactive online technologies to allow communities of practice to continue. This will include activities being undertaken by Rainbow Network, Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care, and our family and intimate partner violence program. We are looking at expanding these offerings in coming weeks to meet the needs of organisations and services.
We can also now offer all our regular training programs remotely, using interactive webinars. With many staff working from home, organisations and services may be interested in ways to keep staff engaged while also continuing their journey to greater LGBTIQ inclusion. We also have an online training module available for organisations to access. Please visit
here for more information.
If there is anything we can do to further support you please contact us here
Once again, thank you for your ongoing work supporting LGBTIQ communities.

Please look after yourselves, and also our older LGBTI community, and please contact Val's here if we can be of any assistance. Below are links to information and resources developed for LGBTI communities to assist you in the valuable work you do, and we will continue to share information via our news and social networks as it becomes available.

Take care and keep up the good work.
Coronavirus (Covid19 information)
Links & information
There is growing information about Corona virus (COVID19) particularly as it relates to LGBTI communities and people living with HIV, including support and referral pathways. Here are links:

LGBTI communities

Switchboard Victoria (& QLife) are there to "chat, connect and listen to everyone as we journey through this time, day by day." This includes the National QLife phone and web chat that operates from 3pm to midnight :
Phone: 1800 184 527

ACON has developed important information for trans and gender diverse people (or services supporting trans and gender diverse people  - COVID-19 (Coronavirus): What Trans People Need to Know - here

For people iving with HIV & more:

Living Positive Victoria - COVID-19 Update for People Living with HIV - here

Thorne Harbour Health - Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV - here 

AFEO - Making Sense of COVID19 – LGBTIQ and HIV Communities FACTSHEET - here 

Government Corona Virus - Covid19 information

Australian Government Department of Health Corona Virus updates & information here

Victorian Government Department of Health & Human Services Information here
Can you help?
Care Packages - COVID19
LGBTI elders
Switchboard Victoria is raising funds ($500) in order to prepare and deliver care packages for older LGBTI recipients of the Out & About program, to assist them through the COVID19 pandemic. Support this initiative - for more information and to donate… visit here
Sunday 22 March 2pm 
The ever creative - All the Queens Men has not let the pandemic stop Dance Club. This important social activity for LGBTI elders, friends and allies will go ahead this Sunday at 2pm online. Full details and instructions to join in are available… here
Seminar Melbourne
Tim Johnston SAGE USA
Last week Val's together with the AAG, La Trobe University, & Ageing with Pride, hosted a seminar with Dr Tim R Johnston (SAGE USA). Tim shared a wealth of information about his recent publication (Welcoming LGBT Residents: A Practical Guide for Senior Living Staff ) & aspects of LGBT inclusive practice. Later that evening at RMIT another seminar focusing on LGBT social isolation & loneliness provided some interesting perspectives. We hope to provide podcasts of both of these seminars in the very near future. 
SMR Community of Practice 
Val's together with the Southern Metropolitan Sector Development Team's Diversity Advisor, Katie Goodrope, hosted a workshop last Tuesday with service providers from throughout the region to identify and improve LGBTI inclusive practice, using the national LGBTI practice standards (Rainbow Tick Standards) and the Aged Care Quality Standards as the frameworks. New resources developed for this forum and also the EMR forum last month will be on the Val's website very soon.
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Val's LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care · Building NR6 · La Trobe University · BUNDOORA, VIC 3086 · Australia

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