Older LGBTQ people and religious abuse: implications for the UK regulation of care provision in later life

Sue Westwood, Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Jemma James

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Abstract

Research suggests health, social care, and social work professionals who are highly religious, and adhere closely to traditional doctrine, are more likely to take a negative view of LGBTQ people. This includes those who provide services to older people. Negative attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer (LGBTQ) people can translate into poor care and even abuse. This commentary discusses recent literature on older LGBTQ people’s experiences of religious abuse. It highlights the concerns among many older LGBTQ people about care from religious based providers where religion becomes a factor leading to abuse, associated with microaggressions, psychological abuse, harassment, discriminatory abuse, neglect, and poor care. Even though only a minority of religious care providers may hold negative attitudes towards LGBTQ people, and even fewer may allow this to inform poor/abusive practice, this is nonetheless an area of concern and merits further investigation. All care providers, including those with strongly held religious beliefs, should deliver equally good, affirmative, non-abusive care to older LGBTQ people, and to LGBTQ people of all ages.
Original languageEnglish
Article number270
Number of pages24
JournalOBM Geriatrics
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • LGBTQ+
  • religious care providers
  • abuse
  • adult protection
  • equality and human rights
  • law

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