LOVE CRN coordinates and supports community-led prevention and education activities with local stakeholders to end abuse, neglect and self-neglect of sexual and gender minority adults on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Here are a few projects currently under way.
Directory of LGBTQ2S+ Organizations
Inadequate social support increases risk for adult abuse and neglect. We created and keep a current directoryof ongoing not-for-profit organizations in Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands that directly mention being inclusive of sexual and gender minority (SGM) adults. The directory is community-specific.
Seniors-Serving Community Agencies that Provide Appropriate and Respectful Services
LOVE CRN agreed to help Vancouver Island and Gulf Island seniors-serving community agencies be more explicitly inclusive of and respectful toward SGM clients and staff in December 2017.
A small group of LOVE CRN members contributed ideas to a plan to reach this goal. The LOVE CRN Coordinator contacted Vancouver Island University in an effort to identify potentially helpful academic partnerships. LOVE CRN also submitted a community grant application to Island Health for developmental research to create relevant curriculum, but the request was denied.
We became aware of a project Robert Beringer was working on together with other Canadian partners. They received funding to develop a comprehensive toolkit to educate health care providers on the unique needs of SGM elders who are living in long term care facilities across Canada. We are supporting this work to the extent we are able. Although this project does not address all health and social services for SGM seniors, it is a very important beginning.
Through our outreach to Vancouver Island University we developed links with University of Victoria and the BC SUPPORT Unit for advancing patient-oriented research (a collaboration between University of Victoria, UBC Medical Program, and Island Health). After some discussion, a letter of intent was submitted to the Drummond Foundation to do participatory action research.
The proposed research title is ‘Strengthening and Implementing Age-Friendly Community Supports and Health Services for Non-Metropolitan Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Minority Seniors in British Columbia’. The proposed study team includes: Nathan Lachowsky, Robert Beringer, Kelli Stajduhar, Horst Backé, and Jane Osborne.
This study would inform development of curriculum for all community services working with SGM seniors. If funded, the study would operate for 1 year starting February 2019.
Ready for the Unexpected?
Research shows many people are not aware of the benefit of Advance Care Planning. This is even more true for SGM adults. Those most in need of these tools are often the least likely to have used them. Advance Care Planning includes:
‘Representation Agreements’ (assigning someone to make health care decisions if you are unable) and
‘Advance Directives’ (instructions to give or refuse consent to health care if you are not capable).
Research also shows that SGM people should think about the following two legal tools to ensure that their wishes are respected when they are no longer in a position to speak for themselves:
‘Enduring power of attorney’ (authorisation to act on someone else's behalf in legal and financial matters (which continues after the person granting it loses mental capacity)
‘Wills’ (instructions on funerals and disposition of property after death). Wills are a way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death. For example, without a will some families may not memorialize the gender of a person who has transitioned after their death.
LOVE CRN will prioritize group-based awareness raising and training about these tools over the coming year on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. BC CRNs is funding part of this work.
Look for us at Pride celebrations throughout the summer and early fall.