Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and transgendered people face the same issues and concerns as anyone else as they age - but they can also face additional challenges. A 2018 AARP Research report "Maintaining Dignity: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges Facing Older LGBT Americans" found that at least half of the people surveyed were very concerned about getting adequate support as they age, and concerned that healthcare providers' insensitivity or lack of knowledge will badly affect their health. Many also worried that they would be neglected, harassed, or forced to go back into the closet in long-term care or nursing care.
The resources here and in the boxes below address those concerns.
Healthcare providers' lack of knowledge about the specific health needs of LGBTQ people can be worse than frustrating - even to the point of life-threatening at times. Often LBGTQ people have to strongly advocate for their rights and needs; here are some supporting resources.
Hospitalization or surgery can be especially fraught for LGBTQ or gender-nonconforming people:
And aging LGBTQ people may face extra complications:
With sometimes-fractured relationships with birth family, and lack of legal recognition for same-sex marriages in the past, many LGBTQ caregivers face additional challenges. These resources may help:
In addition to the information and resources on our Later Life Planning webpages, these LGBTQ-specific resources may help:
Along with the isolation that can burden older adults comes fear that LGBTQ people would have to go back "in the closet" as they age. Staying connected to community can help.
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