LGBTQ+ older carers research project awarded funding from Wrexham Glyndwr University

Date: Wednesday 15 February 2023

A research project focussing on the social support needs of LGBTQ+ older carers’ has been awarded £3,800 of funding.

The project, led by researchers from the Nursing and Mental Health and Wellbeing teams at Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU) in collaboration with local agencies, will help to understand the needs of older LGBTQ+ carers – as currently little is known with regards to the needs of this demographic.

The funding was won via an internal funding call within the university to kick-start the study, which will be piloted and subsequently, developed into a larger scale project.

The WGU team will work closely with relevant local agencies, including Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales, Unique Transgender Network North Wales, the Equality and Inclusion Manager at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and the North and East Wales Carers Information Service. This will ensure that the research findings are used to develop policies and improve holistic service provision for all individuals. 

Recommendations arising from the study will be given to local and national governments. 

Informal discussions with LGBTQ+ older carers suggest a fear of disclosing sexual orientations and gender identities to care providers and agencies. 

The researchers’ scoping exercise will further explore this to gain robust evidence on this marginalised group. This will involve creating an online questionnaire open for responses in April to record these previously overlooked support needs.

Dr Joy Hall, Visiting Professor in Nursing, said: “We are really pleased to have received funding for our project, which will allow us to start exploring the support needs of people who are still so often marginalised in our society. 

“There is evidence of the need for service development to help to support LGBTQ+ carers, however, this has tended to focus on younger carers and specifically at their mental health support needs. 

“Our project will highlight the specific needs of older LGBTQ+ carers, who often fear disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity to care providers due to their own personal experiences of homophobia or transphobia.” 

The findings will also feed into an application for a larger funding pot that will be used to expand the study’s reach and impact on society. It also builds upon the aims of WGU’s Civic Mission to introduce innovative approaches to community resilience and keeping well.