What is this project about and why is it important?

This project is supported by the Canadian Dementia Learning and Resource Network at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada under the Dementia Community Investment (DCI). These funded projects are actively developing and testing tools, resources, and approaches to promote the well-being of persons living with dementia and care partners.

What are the unique experiences and needs of 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia and their care partners? What is the current state of unpaid care as experienced or perceived by 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia and their primary unpaid carers? And how can people, organizations, and institutions across sectors come together to enhance care provision and support?  

In response to clearly identified gaps in research and a growing need for shared knowledge, resources, and critical inquiry, Egale is conducting qualitative research, education, and awareness raising to increase understanding, identify key recommendations, and galvanize support for 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia and unpaid carers of 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia across Canada. 

The current gaps in understanding of 2SLGBTQI people’s experiences living with dementia and their unique needs are a reflection of the compounding of long histories of cis/heteronormative stigmatization, pathologization, and discrimination (e.g., homophobia, transphobia, biphobia) with pervasive ageism in Canadian society. Coming together to support 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia requires broad collaboration and coalition building, informed by research that centers lived experiences.

Who is this project for?

This project’s mission is to improve the lives of 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia in Canada. The project involves those who identify as Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and/or intersex, and who live with dementia, as well as their unpaid care partners. Its aim is to engage people living with dementia, unpaid care partners, as well as paid care professionals and general 2SLGBTQI communities in conversations about how to better support 2SLGBTQI PLWD through direct actions and social and structural change.

Resources this project has created

3 Key Takeaways

  1. This project centers the perspectives of 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia and unpaid carers of 2SLGBTQI PLWD from across Canada.
  2. Increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in dementia care includes understanding histories and present-day dynamics of homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression, and taking actions to address these.
  3. There are many individual and collective actions that can be taken to better support 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia and their carers. Increasing knowledge and understanding and building coalitions is critical.

Project Details

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Duration: 2020-2023

Organization Lead(s): Egale

Project Team:

  • Dr. Celeste Pang, Egale Senior Research Officer, 2SLGBTQI Health, Aging, and Housing

  • Dennis Quesnel, Egale Senior Program Manager

  • Chett Bradley, Egale Instructional Designer

  • AQ Hui, Egale Senior Officer, Communications and Knowledge Translation

  • Dr. Ashley Flanagan, Research Fellow, National Institute on Aging, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)

Project Partner(s):

National Institute on Aging at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)

This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada under the Dementia Community Investment (DCI).