As part of our ongoing development, Aveley Lodge is committed to implementing the new recommendations from the Care Quality Commission in 2019 on supporting our residents and staff with their sexuality. It is important for us all to remember that not everyone living, visiting or working in a care home is heterosexual and/or see’s their gender identity in the traditional sense.
We understand talking about these values and principles aloud may be embarrassing for an individual, particularly if they have not made family and friends aware of certain choices and preferences. This is particularly relevant for older people who have lived through times when discrimination against same sex relationships was the norm. We also recognise some people can be reluctant to discuss sexual concerns due to embarrassment or beliefs that sexual problems are an aspect of normal ageing. Valuing individuality and diversity in all aspects of sexuality care is paramount. This includes understanding an individual’s previous and current relationships, their understanding of sexual health, their sexual orientation, personal dress preferences and gender identity.
We are aware that some individuals identify as neither male nor female or non-binary. For some, the gender of their physical body is not in alignment with who they are as a sexual being. They may choose to dress in ways usually associated with a different gender or they may choose to change their physical gender to align with their sexual identity (transition). Some individuals may be in a sexual partnership with someone of the same gender but do not wish to identify with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) communities. All permutations celebrate the diversity of human life. There are organisations which can help if you want support around your sexuality and we here at Aveley Lodge would be happy to support you with this when you come into our home.
We at Aveley Lodge reflect the values and principles of respecting diversity, equality, human rights and non-discrimination in line with current legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. No person is excluded on the grounds of any gender or transgender, disability or sexual orientation. The staff here at Aveley Lodge put our resident’s health and wellbeing at the forefront of their care duties and this includes their relationships and sexuality. We in turn support our staff, and their wellbeing is one of our primary concerns and we will not discriminate on anyone’s employment with us on the grounds of gender or transgender.
We understand the importance of enabling people to manage their sexuality needs including making sure people have access to education and information to help them develop and maintain relationships and express their sexuality. We also understand the risks associated with people’s sexuality needs and the need to recognise and support these needs, so that we do not risk discriminating against people or breaching their human rights. We have certain policies in place to support residents and staff alike in this area. All our staff, as part of their induction programme and ongoing training, receive training on sexuality and relationships to raise their awareness of the issues as well as to provide them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deal with sexuality and relationships sensitively and professionally. We are all here to ensure that our residents live in their home not only safely and happily but that our staff work in a happy environment too. Your welfare is one of the most important aspects of our role.