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It's my story - Glad to be Grey? BBC Radio 4


Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
I have just heard a trail for a BBC Radio 4 programme this Monday coming, 19 July 2010, at 8 pm, in the series "It's my story".


This episode is called "Glad to be Grey?".

"A generation of gay people have seen the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the lowering of the age of consent, and the introduction of civil partnerships but now many are having to hide their sexuality as they work out their living arrangements as they get older. Jane Hill asks - are elderly residential homes an option right now if you're gay?

Age UK has reported that older gay men and lesbians are five times less likely to access services for older people than the general population. In "Glad to be Grey?" we hear older gay men and lesbians talk about their experiences and concerns about the future particularly if they have to go into a residential retirement home. Some have experienced outright hostility from staff or fellow residents in residential care or sheltered housing. Others simply don't expect the straight people they're living with to understand the culture that has formed such an important part of their lives. Having fought the battles for equality do they face the prospect of being marginalised in old age? BBC News presenter Jane Hill examines a subject which has been largely unexplored up until now.

And, with Jane Hill presenting the programme, it should be a balanced and reliable portrayal.


Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
Glad to be grey

Just listened to this on BBC iplayer (you can also download this as a podcast). Some of the comments by LGBT people in care are so moving that, if you're not choked by them, then I think you have no soul. Some of the presenters questions are a bit too leading and closed for me but I don't think that they distract too much from the overall impact of it. Let's hope it invokes more discussion and debate. I hope that Alzheimer's Society will take this into account as it's attitude to diversity and inclusion has been little more than a paper exercise in recent years. The former Age Concern and current Age UK far out perform Alzheimer's Society in demonstrating, rather than claiming, commitment to minority matters.
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Registered User
May 28, 2011
Gay with dementia

My partner of 20 years has vascular dementia at at advanced stage. After caring for him at home for about 7 years it became too much and I had to arrange for him to move to a care home. I was just completely exhausted. The care home and staff know the situation and we have not met with any disapproval or difficulties.
We have however met with problems in hospital, I am so glad that we are civil partners and that I now have a legal right to be involved in his care. prior to this I was told that only family could be told what the diagnosis was and that I could not attend meetings. The civil partnership status seems to prevent this from happening. He has just left hospital today after another stroke and we had good treatment apart from one nurse. She told me that in her country no-one went into a care home, and to do so would be shameful, she asked what our relationship was and grimaced when I told her. I felt her disapproval wash over me like a wave. Fortunately I have experienced this so often in life that I just let it flow past me.
There has undoubtedly been an improvement in atitudes, but if 80% approve this still leaves a huge number of homophobes.
Ho hum, why can't we all just get along


Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
Benefits of civil partnership

I have just read your post Vanilla, and am so glad that the civil partnership has provided you with some status when dealing with information and the authorities. It is a tremendous problem getting and providing medical information when your relative / friend / partner has dementia. I hope that in the CH environment this is not a problem for you.

There will always be people who make hurtful comments. You know this I am sure, but these things can always take us off guard, particularly if they come from an otherwise nice friendly person who just lets fly with a prejudice out of the blue! :(
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