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Top 5 Issues LGBT Seniors Face

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Though seniors of all orientations face similar concerns as they age, there are a few issues aging members of the LGBT community are more prone to. Family caregivers or friends of LGBT seniors may want to take these 5 situations into consideration.

1. Lack of Family Caregivers

Children, spouses, or other relatives provide approximately 80 percent of elder care in the United States. LGBT seniors are only half as likely as heterosexual seniors to have family they can rely on for Granite Bay senior care, and they are more likely to remain single and childless. Many of today’s LGBT seniors also came out during a time when the likelihood of being cut off from their families was much greater than it is now.

2. Legal Barriers Regarding Caregiving

Even if an LGBT senior has a spouse or longtime partner, legal barriers can still make it difficult for the partner to serve as caregiver for his or her loved one. LGBT individuals are often unable to get time off under family or medical leave to provide part-time or live-in care in Granite Bay for their spouse or partner. They may also be barred from making medical decisions or even planning a funeral for their spouses or partners unless they have made specific legal arrangements. 

3. Financial Insecurity

The poverty rate among LGBT seniors is higher than their heterosexual counterparts. This is due to continued discrimination in employment and barriers to claiming Medicaid and Social Security benefits. Many company retirement and pension plans deny benefits to same-sex couples, and LGBT couples may also be barred from inheritances or face steeper estate taxes.

4. Fear of Discrimination

Some health care providers do not train their staff to handle the issues LGBT seniors face. Though this is not true across the board, doctors, nursing home staff, and other healthcare professionals can sometimes be uncomfortable or even hostile toward LGBT elders. This may prevent these seniors from obtaining important medical services or force them to hide their orientation.

5. Unique Health Concerns

Though AIDS is not exclusive to the LGBT community, gay and bisexual men are the largest group affected by HIV, and there is still a stigma attached to those who have the virus. Of the more than one million people living with AIDS in the US, approximately one-quarter of them are over age 55. Many LBGT seniors delay treatment for HIV or other conditions due to the social stigma or the inability to afford treatment. LGBT seniors are also more likely to experience emotional health concerns, including depression and thoughts of suicide.

If you have a senior loved one who is a member of the LGBT community, he or she has many ways to remain healthy in the golden years. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can help your loved one with a wide array of daily tasks, including cooking, exercise, grooming, and medication reminders. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Granite Bay, Folsom, and Placer County seniors can rely on. For more information and to request a free consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers, call 916.226.3737 today.

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