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How Might Being Part of the LGBTQ+ Community Affect My Dementia Journey?

Managing a Dementia Diagnosis when you Identify as LGBTQ+

Approximately 1 in 16 people identify as being LGBTQ+ in the UK today. By 2025 it is estimated that over 1.6 million people will be living dementia in the UK. Despite this, there is relatively little standardised provision for the care and support of people living with dementia, who also identify as being LGBTQ+. While everyone will experience a personal and unique dementia journey, there can be additional challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community when it comes living life with dementia. Through this blog we will explore and address some of these challenges and consider how best to overcome and minimise them.

Why might being LGBTQ+ present additional challenges for someone living with dementia and their Carers?

There’s a lot of information out there about living with dementia, but relatively little from the perspective of someone who identifies as LGBTQ+. This could compound feelings of isolation, alongside some other obstacles affecting LGBTQ+ people living with dementia - such as:

  • Concern that Carers in a professional capacity will not respect or support your identity

  • Trouble remembering who is aware of your sexual orientation or gender identity

  • Fear of misunderstanding or forgetting your own gender identity or sexual orientation.

  • Possible lack of support from family due to complex relationships

  • Fear of outdated prejudice within care settings.

  • An increased chance of living alone – resulting in an increased need for support, placing more pressure on finances

For support tackling any of the issues above, or other challenges that haven’t yet been mentioned, please reach out to our Wayfinding Team at Sage House.

What can I do as an LGBTQ+ person living with dementia (or caring for someone in this position) to ease the path ahead?

Anxiety faced by the LGBTQ+ community, living with dementia and their loved ones can sometimes make the dementia journey more difficult to navigate. But there are some ways that you can help to alleviate these worries and regain some control over your unique dementia experience.

Planning ahead is crucial. Even though it can be hard to think about the future, knowing that you have things in place can really help to reduce anxiety.

  • Consider future care planning early on. This way you can find a solution that you and your loved ones feel comfortable with. So, if and when the time comes that you need additional care, you’re not leaping into the unknown

  • Appointing Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for when it becomes necessary, ensures that you have someone you trust deciding on areas of finance, housing, health and wellbeing

  • Think about creating RESPECT form (an Advance Statement). This is a document that you dictate, containing important details for your future care – including, who you are, what you like and dislike and what treatment and care you expect to be given

It can be hard to come to terms with a dementia diagnosis but by putting these few measures in place you can regain some control over your own future and ensure that you continue to live well with dementia as an LGBTQ+ person.

If you’d like to talk confidentially about any part of your dementia journey, our Wayfinding Team offer one-to-one support for anyone living with dementia - including friends, family and Carers.


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