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Carers Northern Ireland launches new resource for LGBTQ+ carers

25 August 2017

Carers Northern Ireland, has produced an innovative new guide for unpaid carers of all ages who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*  or queer. The guide provides information to help with the unique challenges that arise from caring as,  or for, LGBTQ+ people.

Caring can be a rewarding experience but without the right support many carers find themselves facing financial hardship, ill-health, emotional stress, relationship breakdown and isolation.

For the LGBTQ+ community there may be additional challenges during the caring journey. Some people feel the support services are ‘not for them’ and won’t  understand their needs. Some people may access support late or not at all, because they anticipate stigma or discrimination. This adds to the impact on the carer’s life, and can increase feelings of isolation. For example, it may be impossible for a carer to call a relative for emotional support if they cannot disclose that they are in a relationship with the person they care for.

The guide includes help on identifying as an LGBTQ+ carer and accessing support from public services or health and social care trusts, as well as information on end-of-life affairs.  Coupled with the practical information are the real stories of LGBTQ+ carers who have benefited from support.

“I feel as if during the time I was caring, I spent six yearsback in the closet, after the journey of coming out” explains carer, Steven, who is quoted in the handbook.

Clare-Anne Magee, General Manager, Carers NI said ‘“We are delighted to be issuing this much-needed resource, which is the first of its kind to acknowledge the unique additional emotional and practical challenges of caring while LGBTQ+.

It is our hope that this guide will give carers of all sexualities and genders the knowledge and confidence to seek the support to which they are entitled.”

Download the booklet here

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