Supporting LGBTQ+ Service Users: A Guide for Carers

Care Careers Tips

As Pride Month rolls around each June, it’s a time to celebrate diversity, promote acceptance, and highlight the ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ+ community. For carers like those here at Cera, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on how they can better support LGBTQ+ service users. Providing care is about more than just meeting physical needs; it’s about creating an inclusive, respectful, and affirming environment for all individuals.

We are proud that our carers know the value of meeting the needs of all service users and here are some of the tips they have shared on how they do this:



Understanding the unique experiences and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals is crucial. Take the time to educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues, terminology, and the historical context of their struggles. Many organisations offer training and resources that can help you become more knowledgeable and sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ+ service users. At Cera, we have online training available to support you developing your knowledge and understanding. Remember, informed care is the foundation of supportive care.

Skills for Care recently shared an LGBTQ+ learning framework which you can also learn more from here.


Creating an inclusive environment starts with language. Use gender-neutral terms and respect each individual’s preferred pronouns. Avoid making assumptions about someone’s gender or sexual orientation based on appearance or stereotypes. A simple way to show respect is by asking, “What pronouns do you use?” and ensuring that these are used consistently by everyone involved in the care.


Carers can play a significant role in advocating for the rights and needs of LGBTQ+ service users. This includes challenging discriminatory practices, ensuring access to appropriate healthcare, and supporting them in navigating systems that may not always be inclusive. Advocacy also means standing up against any form of discrimination or harassment they may face.



Affirming care is about recognising and validating the identities of LGBTQ+ individuals. This includes understanding the importance of mental health support, as LGBTQ+ individuals are at a higher risk for mental health issues due to discrimination and social stigma. Offering a safe space where they can express their identity without fear of judgement or prejudice is essential.

Jacqueline Dobson, Regional Operations Manager said,

We have a lot of elderly people who have been made to live in silence and feel shameful for who they are. Here at Cera we listen and make sure our service users don't have to live in silence and can express themselves. It gives people hope that the world will see us as one and remember LOVE IS LOVE!


Encourage LGBTQ+ service users to connect with community groups and resources. These connections can provide invaluable support and a sense of belonging. Whether it’s connecting them with local LGBTQ+ organisations, support groups, or social events, fostering these connections can enhance their well-being and quality of life.


Pride Month is a celebration of identity and diversity. Show your support by celebrating the identities of LGBTQ+ service users. Small gestures, like displaying Pride flags or participating in Pride Month events, can go a long way in showing that you respect and affirm their identities and recognise their community.

At Cera, many of our carers have signed our Pride Pledge as part of their promise to always be an ally to those who are part of the community.

I pledge to honour and celebrate the diversity within the Cera community.

Nurturing a safe and welcoming environment for all.

Choosing love and acceptance over hate and discrimination.

Listening with empathy to the stories and experiences of others.

Uniting with allies to fight for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Standing up against prejudice and bigotry wherever it appears.

Inspiring others to embrace and support the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Valuing every individual’s right to express their true selves.

Empowering everyone to be who they were always meant to be.


Listen and Learn

Finally, the most important thing you can do is listen. Every LGBTQ+ individual has their own unique story and experience. By listening to their needs, concerns, and experiences, you can provide care that is truly responsive and respectful.

Supporting LGBTQ+ service users is an ongoing process of learning, understanding, and advocacy. By committing to these principles, carers can make a significant difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals, not just during Pride Month, but all year round.

If you think you could make a valuable difference to the lives of our service users, apply now!

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