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    First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
For the first time leading campaign group Age Concern are addressing the specific needs of older homosexuals. They believe that these needs are often ignored by existing voluntary organisations and statutary welfare services.

Gordon Lishman, Age Concern England's Director General, says: "The situation for most lesbian and gay people at the beginning of the 21st century is more positive, secure and affirming than at any time in our history. However, the majority of older people have lived a large part of their lives in less liberal times. Although much has changed to encourage greater trust and understanding, there are still barriers to break down and many doors yet to be opened."

Age Concern say that at the very least one in fifteen users of their services are exclusively homosexual. As part of their campaign to bring about positive changes in the way older homosexuals are treated, they've published a resource pack called Opening Doors

"Opening Doors sets the current scene within organisational culture and tries to turn increasingly positive attitudes into equally positive action", says Gordon Lishman. "It should give a clear signal to agencies working with and for older people, to the lesbian and gay movement, and to older lesbians and gay men themselves."

The pack deals with issues like language, respecting privacy and consulting older lesbians and gay men. Age Concern England will also be hosting a national conference on the needs of older lesbians and gay men next February. You can get more details about the resource pack on the Age Concern website


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