The National LGBTI Health Alliance supports government advice to all older LGBTI people to stay at home during this COVID 19 crisis.
All people over 70 years old, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 and anyone over 60 with a chronic illness are advised to limit any activities outside of their home.
“We know that older LGBTI people, like many other older Australians, are vulnerable to COVID 19,” said Nicky Bath, CEO of The National LGBTI Health Alliance. “Our communities generally have higher levels of underlying health conditions which put us at risk for serious viral infections. We have people living with HIV and cancer, compromised immune systems, and higher rates of smoking than the general community, and we regularly face discrimination in healthcare settings.”
At this time it is important to recognise and celebrate the resilience of older LGBTI people, who have survived and thrived through criminalisation, the HIV crisis, institutional and social violence and long histories of prejudice and discrimination. Many older LGBTI people draw support from families of choice, but many still experience isolation and loneliness.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance encourages all members of our communities and services to reach out virtually and stay connected to older LGBTI neighbours and friends.
What can younger people do?
- Make a habit of calling or emailing an older person every few days to check in on them
- Offer to organise online shopping
- Where it’s appropriate, offer to help them use technology
What can older people do?
- Reach out to a younger person by phone or email and ask how they are
- Talk about what it means to you to get older
- Where it’s appropriate, offer mentoring and advice
What can we do together?
- Share music playlists and get to know what music you both like
- Watch the same film or television program and chat about it
- Play online games together
- Learn a song or poem together
- Share photos and videos of pets
- Listen to each other’s stories
This is the time to build mutually beneficial intergenerational friendships. Social connections have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Friendships that embrace the differences of age and value all our community members no matter what age, will enable us to get through this crisis, and emerge even stronger.
Please feel free to download and share this resource across your organisations and communities, and please reach out during this time to #KeepConnected
Please see our referral pages for COVID-19:
- Connect with Care: for the LGBTI Sector and Organisations
- Connect with Confidence: for the LGBTI Communities and Individuals
- Connect with Community: for the Health Sector and Services
Up to date information on coronavirus is available here from the Commonwealth Department of Health.
For information on novel coronavirus use the Department of Health Coronavirus Line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080.
If you are experiencing distress and would like to talk with a peer please use QLife webchat here.