Best practices for Care and Wellbeing Education to support the needs of LGBT people as they age. Erasmus Project

General information for the Best practices for Care and Wellbeing Education to support the needs of LGBT people as they age. Erasmus Project

Best practices for Care and Wellbeing Education to support the needs of LGBT people as they age.  Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Best practices for Care and Wellbeing Education to support the needs of LGBT people as they age.

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Social dialogue; Health and wellbeing; Inclusion – equity

Project Summary

In the project BEING ME we aimed to support the social inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) older people who use care and wellbeing services. As the population of Europe is ageing, more and more older people are in need of care and support. This will include older LGBT people as well, who often need more professional care and support as many do not have children. Research has demonstrated that older LGBT people experience social exclusion while interacting with care providers and that their life stories and relationships are overlooked and undervalued [NOF 2014, Higgins et al 2011, Almack et al 2010]. In some cases they experience direct discrimination within health and social care environments. Current curricula in educational institutions pay little or no attention to sexual and gender diversity among older people [Hafford-Letchfield 2010]. Consequently health and social care workers go on to neglect the importance of sexual identity, sexual orientation, sexual health and gender in their assessment and care [Cocker and Hafford-Letchfield, 2010]. Therefore, to raise awareness and acceptation of LGBT older people, it is important to include sexual and gender diversity in the education of our future health and social care staff.

This project aimed to promote and support the social inclusion of LGBT older people in receipt of care through positive interaction with educational institutions that prepare future professionals to work with older people. We aimed to improve the knowledge and competencies of future care professionals. By enhancing skills, knowledge and competencies, practitioners will be in a position to develop a culture of support, openness and respect for LGBT identities which is essential to LGBT older people’s inclusiveness in care environments. The project selected a number of stakeholders as participants for activities and the output, being students and educators from both Vocational Education Institutes (VET) and Higher Education Institutes (HEI), LGBT older people, experts and researchers on main themes of (health) care and LGBT, policy makers and care professionals.

In the project we delivered four intellectual outputs including an elaborate Research Report consisting of a literature review (academic paper), four country reports and a methodology and template for country reports, a Best Practice Report, a Toolkit and an evaluation report. The creation of these four end products were supported by activities organised by the project. We organized two international World Café Session and one international Learning, Teaching and Training Activity in which different types of stakeholders tested and reviewed the output and gave feedback through questionnaires and interactive feedback sessions. Throughout the project each partner organised smaller (inter)national activities such as lectures, training or (poster) presentations, in which the output was disseminated, tested or already implemented in teaching. From all these activities given feedback is used to optimise the final outputs.

The final results of the project, including the research reports, the Best Practice Report and the toolbox are primarily targeted on vocational education, taking place at secondary, post-secondary level (the Netherlands), at higher (tertiary) education (Slovenia) and at higher education (United Kingdom and Ireland). This focus on VET ensured that we reached those students who will be working directly with older people. The impact of the end products can be observed clearly, even in this early stage. At least 900 persons were reached through several different dissemination activities with an overall positive response. The project raised the awareness on inclusive care for older LGBT people among health and social care practitioners, students and educators. Especially in various (inter)national presentations and workshops given over the project’s duration participants vocalised their interest and accomplished awareness on the subject. This resulted in an increased willingness among educators to include older LGBT issues within curricula. In a final evaluation amongst 39 stakeholders after the launch of the toolkit the average of the grade they gave the toolbox is 8,5 and 95% would use the toolbox in their work or studies All outputs are already used in the institutions of each partner during the project and the final product will be a permanent part of the curriculum with each education partner and a platform of 140 VET schools in the Netherlands. There will be a bigger focus on inclusive care for LGBT which will result in more students (and future care professionals) having more knowledge and skills concerning inclusiveness in care environments. Amongst other stakeholders such as LGBT experts and care organisations, there is a great interest and awareness for the topic of inclusive care for LGBT older people.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 186599 Eur

Project Coordinator

STICHTING NATIONAAL OUDERENFONDS & Country: NL

Project Partners

  • Outhouse CLG
  • Stichting Consortium Beroepsonderwijs
  • MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HIGHER EDUCATION CORPORATION
  • UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI
  • THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
  • UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE