Getting support as an LGBTQ+ person with dementia

As your dementia progresses you will need more support to be able to live well. Read about how to get the help you need.

It’s important to have a good support network around you. This could include people who can help you with day-to-day things you find difficult, like shopping or cooking, or people you can talk to about what you’re going through.

As an LGBTQ+ person you may look to a number of different people or groups for support. Some of the following may be true for you:

  • You may get a lot of support from others in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • You may no longer be in touch with, or may have a complicated relationship with, your ‘family of origin’ (the people you grew up with, often a biological or adoptive family). For example, you may have experienced hostility from them.
  • You may have what is called a ‘family of choice’ (a group of people who are not your family of origin, but who support you as family).
  • You may experience hostility from your community. For example, you may be from a culture that is less accepting of LGBTQ+ people.
  • You may not have disclosed your sexual orientation or gender identity to your family, or even some of your friends.
  • You may or may not have children or grandchildren who support you.
  • You may have more support from people your own age, rather than people of a different generation to you.
  • You may be single, or living alone.

Whatever your social group and support you have, it’s important to get the help you need. Try to make the most of whatever help those close to you can provide, and know where to get the support that’s available.

How people can support you

Support with daily living

Talk to those close to you about what they can do for you – for example, helping you out with shopping or tasks around the house. You may also like to talk to them about accessing services and what you want others to know. This could include whether or not you want to be ‘out’.

Support with managing your feelings

Talk to friends and family about how you feel and any worries you have. They may have their own experiences to share or may be able to provide support, so you don’t have to do things alone, if you don’t want to.

Support with planning ahead

Talk to the people close to you about the future, and any wishes you have. This might include the care you want to receive, or where you want to live. You may want to put things in place now, to help people know your wishes if you are unable to make decisions for yourself in the future. 

Emotional support from others affected by dementia

Talk to people who are in a similar situation to you. They might understand what you are going through and give emotional support. It can be harder to find other lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans people with dementia.

Online communities and forums are a good place to look, such as Alzheimer’s Society’s Talking Point, which has a group for LGBTQ+ people and their families and carers. For more information see ‘LGBTQ+ specific services and support’ on our Accessing services page.

Support from your community

Have a look at what support options there are for people with dementia where you live. These may not be specific to LGBTQ+ people, but you may want to try them. For example, you may want to go along to a memory café or a support group to meet other people with dementia who you can talk to. 

You can use the dementia directory to search for groups and social activities in your local area.

If you don’t have a support network, or need more support, you may need to think about getting professional help and support

Living alone?

Read our practical advice on staying independent and safe.

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