LGBTQ Older Adults and How We Can Support Them 🏳️‍🌈

by | Jun 10, 2024 | Uncategorized

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The landscape of our society is ever-changing, and with it, the demographics of our population. Among the various shifts we’re witnessing, one of the most significant is the projected doubling of the LGBTQ older adult population in the U.S. by 2030. This imminent surge illuminates a critical need for understanding, support, and resources.

Unfortunately, as we delve deeper into the experiences of LGBTQ older adults, we uncover some hard truths. A worrying 40% of LGBTQ older adults aged 45-75 report that their support networks have dwindled over time. This is a stark contrast to the 27% of non-LGBTQ older individuals who report the same. Furthermore, a shocking 78% of LGBTQ older adults feel compelled to conceal their true identities upon entering nursing homes or assisted living facilities.


These challenges are further compounded by the fact that LGBTQ older adults are five times less inclined to seek medical care or social services. This reluctance can be attributed to a lifetime of stigma, discrimination, and violence, which sadly continue to persist. The repercussions of this are severe, with increased risks of social isolation, depression and anxiety, poverty, chronic illnesses, poor nutrition, delayed care-seeking, premature mortality, and more.

In light of these distressing realities, it’s incumbent upon us as a society to step up and offer our support. So, how can we contribute?



Here are 3 things you can do to support LGBT+ older adults:

  1. Remember our primary aim when aiding someone should be to ease their life. This could involve offering emotional support, helping with daily tasks, or advocating on their behalf.
  2. Respect and honor their identity. The language and terms associated with the LGBTQ community are continually evolving, and it’s crucial to stay updated and use the terms that the individual prefers.
  3. Consider accompanying them to healthcare appointments. This act of solidarity can provide comfort, reassurance, and a sense of advocacy.

You might not be sure how to start supporting our LGBTQ+ older adults, but every little action counts. If you’re interested in furthering your understanding and support, SAGE and Forge-Forward are excellent resources packed with useful information.

A bit ago I did a Facebook Live on supporting our LGBTQ+ elders and you can watch it here. 

As we anticipate the growing population of LGBTQ older adults, let’s strive to foster a society that not only accepts but celebrates our diverse identities, at every age.

Curious to know more?

Interested in learning how to engage your person with dementia using the arts? Click that button and schedule a time to chat.

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