LGBT: Living with dementia

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and have dementia, this page is for you. In it we explain how you can live well with dementia. We talk about the things you can do to remain independent, get the emotional and practical support that’s right for you, and plan for your future.

You may feel that lots of the information and advice you are given, or lots of the support available, isn’t right for you. You may have, or feel you have, different circumstances to heterosexual or cisgender people (someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth). This could be because of your experiences, your living arrangements, the support you receive and who you have around you.

Dementia is challenging for everyone, and everyone’s situation will affect what living with dementia is like for them. However, being LGBT and having dementia can present extra difficulties. It can also mean that living well with dementia means something different to you – something that you don’t hear talked about as much.

It’s important to know that you aren’t alone. Support and advice is available, there are services and care settings designed to support you, and the law protects your rights to equal treatment and privacy. By knowing your rights, finding the right support, and planning for your future, it is possible to live well with dementia.

L, G, B and T

The term ‘LGBT’ is widely used and can mean different things. In this booklet we use it to mean the following groups:

  • Lesbian – a woman who has an emotional, romantic or sexual orientation towards women
  • Gay – a man who has an emotional, romantic or sexual orientation towards men
  • Bisexual – a person who has an emotional, romantic or sexual orientation towards men and women
  • Trans – someone who doesn’t identify with their assigned gender at birth, or who sees themselves as between, beyond or outside of the two standard categories of male and female.

This booklet has been written for a person with dementia. While it may be useful for a carer to read, if you are supporting an LGBT person with dementia you should also read factsheet 480, Supporting a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person with dementia.