Exploring the Care Act’s potential for anti-discriminatory practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans older people

John Crossland

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Purpose – The planning and provision of care for older people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities is an increasing challenge to traditional welfare systems. This review explores the potential of the newly implemented Care Act 2014 in England for developing an anti-discriminatory approach.

Design/methodology/approach – The review draws on existing research and conceptual literature to identify how key provisions of the new Act can be interpreted in light of current knowledge.

Findings – Overall the provisions of the Care Act lend themselves well to positive interpretation in relation to the needs of older LGBT people and their support networks. A potential tension, however, arises in the locality focus of the legislation that could constrain good practice with geographically dispersed communities. There is also a need to challenge both heteronormative and ageist assumptions that lead to older LGBT people remaining unrecognised.
Practical implications – Applied with imagination and commitment, the provisions of the new Act could enable new forms of person-centred care to emerge to support older LGBT people.

Social implications – Social workers are in a key position to influence how the Care Act is interpreted and applied in practice and can act as change agents for a societal move towards older LGBT people having greater choice and control over their wellbeing

Originality/value – This review presents examples of how the provisions of the legislation can be utilised to support positive change for older LGBT people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Issue number2
Early online date3 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Older People
  • LGBT
  • Legislation
  • Care Act 2014
  • Social Care
  • Social Work


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