BEING ME: inclusive aged care
ENTER members Trinity College Dublin, Middlesex University and University of Ljubljana are involved (along with two organisations from the Netherlands, the National Foundation for the Elderly as a project lead and Stichting Consortium Beroepsonderwijs as well as LGBT organisation Outhouse from Dublin) in the EU project “Best practices for Care and Wellbeing Education to support the needs of LGBT people as they age - BEING ME” (Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships, 2018-2020).
The 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. In some cases, they experience direct discrimination within health and social care environments. The current curricula in educational institutions pay little or no attention to sexual diversity among older people. Hence health and social care educators can exacerbate the problem by perpetuating heteronormative assumptions and ignoring LGBT+ identities in education.
The Being Me project aims to support the social inclusion of LGBT+ older people who use care and wellbeing services through positive interaction with educational institutions that prepare future professionals to work with older people. By exchanging good practices, including good practice in learning and teaching and by developing tailored educational resources and pedagogies, the project aims to improve the knowledge and competencies of future care professionals in the area of LGBT affirmative practices.
So far, BEING ME partners have produced a report based on a systematic review of the literature on best practices in teaching of LGBT older people's needs and wellbeing. The team have also produced country reports that summarise themes in relation to LGBT older people, the obstacles they encounter and the support for inclusive care that already exists in each country.
Group dialogues (World Café)
One of the most important methods of the project is using group dialogue. The first World Café Session was organized with educators, students, practitioners and LGBT+ older people (6th of June in Amersfoort, NL). The participants discussed the role of educators in care and wellbeing and how they can prepare future care professionals towards more inclusive care. The session started with the stories of LGBT+ older people and their experiences which were played back through impro theatre. In the second World Café Session (Dublin, 18th September) we will continue the work of the first one with the aim of moving our efforts to the more concrete suggestions for training and education. The results of both sessions will feed into project's learning resources.
Online material and teaching material
The best practices obtained from the group dialogues and literature will be published through a set of online webinars, podcasts and interactive guidelines. These will be freely available for educational institutions. They will also be translated into the partner country languages (English, Dutch and Slovenian). The teaching material of different countries will be exchanged between partners, but also of other sources and organizations, by adapting it to various European languages and cultures.
Project's website: www.beingme.eu
Photos: Project meeting and 1st World Café Session, 5.-6.-2018 in Amersfoort, NL.