DCU study seeks friends and family of nursing homes gay and lesbian residents

The study aims to identify potential areas of improvement for those who identify as gay or lesbian and living in nursing homes.

Black and white image. One elderly woman stands behind another seated elderly woman, putting hands on her shoulders. The seated woman looks at the camera with a subtle smile
Image: Photo by eberhard, grossgasteiger on Unsplash

One DCU PhD candidate, Tomasz Tomasiuk, is conducting an ethically approved study on the experiences of lesbian and gay people residing in nursing homes. Through the study, Tomasiuk hopes to identify potential areas for improvement within this under-examined field.

Tomasiuk, a gay physician completing his research through the School of Nursing in DCU, notes that there are few studies on this subject but “the literature suggests that older gay and lesbian residents of nursing homes are vulnerable and invisible”. With this in mind, Tomasiuk is calling out for volunteers to participate in his research and help combat the issue.

Specifically, Tomasiuk is looking for those who have gay or lesbian loved ones, aged over sixty, living in a nursing home as this study seeks to share those experiences and their impact “through the eyes of family members”. However, in this case, the term “family members” also encompasses the resident’s “chosen family” (partner or close friends) as well as the “bio-legal” (wife, husband, civil partner, parent, sibling, adult child, in-law).

This research is being supervised by three experts and anyone who wishes to contribute will be invited to an interview of approximately sixty minutes. The interview is confidential but will be recorded to assist with accuracy, although no identifying details will be recorded. Participants have the option to be interviewed in person or online, whichever will make them most comfortable and suit their schedule.

If you’re an English-speaking adult with a gay or lesbian loved one who lives in a nursing home, or if you’ve had a close relationship with someone who fits that description and has lived in a nursing home within the last two years, you can reach out to Tomasiuk by email at [email protected].

Alternatively, you can call him at 089 268 9347 (a number which is used exclusively by Tomasiuk for this research) to take part in this “qualitative study describing the real-life experience” to improve the lives of older gay and lesbian people living in Irish nursing homes.

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