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BestCare4LGBTQI+ – Building the capacities of service providers in elder residential care on how to provide a more inclusive service provision for Older LBGTQI+ users

The BestCare4LGBTQI+ project will support the development of LGBTQI+ friendly elderly care services.

Grant Agreement Number: KA220-ADU-D6BF4D54

Funded by: Erasmus+        Duration: 01/12/2021 – 01/06/2024  


Evidence shows that that there is still a long way to ensure that institutions providing care services for older people are inclusive, safe and pay due attention to LGBTQI+ people. WHO’s “Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health (2016-2020)” shows that while LGBTQI+ residents of elderly care homes and services are estimated to be around 10%, when asked about LGBTQI+ residents, management and care professionals usually state not to ‘have’ them or not to have ‘any problems with homosexuality’, and increasing discrimination and exclusion seems to be an unknown subject to them.

LGBTQI+ people are at high risk of being discriminated against in residential care homes as they lack ‘voice’ due to heteronormativity and the social taboo on sexual diversity. While the need to have more LGBTQI+ friendly care services is clear, the number of explicitly LGBTQI+-friendly elderly care services is very limited and, with 2 exceptions in the UK and the Netherlands, there is no evidence of programmes aimed to identify inclusive care services.


The mission of the BestCare4LGBTQI+ project is to support the development of LGBTQI+ friendly elderly care services, providing tools, awareness-raising material and learning resources to home care and residential care services managers and staff to ensure a better adapted and more respectful and inclusive care for LGBTQI+ older people living in care facilities.


In order to be able to support the up-skilling of care professionals and the practical implementation of measures aimed to make residential and home-care services perceived as friendly and safe for older LGBTQI+, it is important to begin with an exploration of the lived-in experiences of this target group in the project countries and to systematize them in a set of recommendations for service providers. This report will respond to this goal by collecting the voices of older persons self-identifying as LGBTQI+ from France, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Romania through interviews aimed to activate story-telling practices. At the same time, professionals (manager and staff) will also be interviewed to elicit their personal narratives in relation to dealing with diversity and relevant case examples from social work practice in a health and residential care setting.

The training will be aimed not only at professionals and staff but also at management, in order to promote diversity management in services, without which services will continue to be compromised by ageism, homophobia and heterosexism, adversely affecting delivery of care. The training course curricula will include at least 5 modules, covering topics related with human rights; inclusion; discrimination; equality; diversity charts; health, emotional and social specific issues about LGBTQI+ older people; gender identities and sexual orientations; harassment; inclusive language; among others.

This training aims to create procedures for the recognition of institutions that adopt an inclusive stance (translated into practice) towards older LGBTQI+ people. The main aim of this output is the determination of the key contents, methodologies and tools needed by professionals to replicate the training in organizations outside the project consortium.

A methodology will be developed for awarding a Badge of Excellence for inclusive residential care of older LGBTQI+ service users. The document will contain a set of quality indicators for a list of domains and quality illustrations of these key areas. For each of these indicators, the document will also include a list of suggested strategies for scrutiny of the current situation and to develop an action plan for improvement. Finally, the document will illustrate how to translate the assessment of indicators into a quality score which will allow the care service to be awarded a “Tier 1 – tier 2 or tier 3” quality badge.

This will be a publicly available and multi-lingual database that will provide a searchable repository of practices, policies, tools and lessons learned in relation to inclusive care for older LGBTQI+s. Users will be able to filter by action areas, implementation activities, sectors and themes, language, and by regions and countries. In addition, users will have the opportunity to submit their own practices and resources. The platform will also incorporate a toolbox of resources developed to assist the training and awareness raising of professionals and institutional environments.

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European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
AFEJI (France)
European Association for Social Innovation (Romania)
Anziani e Non Solo (Italy)
CASO50+, Associação (Portugal)

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