LGBTQI Discrimination in the Senior Community
Working to reduce homophobia and transphobia with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders
Today is a historic day for America, as marriage equality is now legal in all 50 states. The fight is not over, however, as LGBTQI people will still face discrimination every day. One of the most vulnerable groups is our LGBTQI seniors. There is a myriad of issues that gay and lesbian seniors face in addition to the struggles associated with aging.
It is difficult enough to find quality senior care, but when you through discrimination into the mix it is nearly impossible. Many of these seniors face health problems associated with isolation. These seniors are less likely to have children and are more subject to elder abuse. This social isolation can lead to lower cognitive function and a more swift decline into dementia.
Discrimination can take a dangerous toll on people. It was shown that in 2013 that 15 percent of LGBTQI seniors had seriously considered suicide in the past year. Senior citizens already have an extremely high suicide rate as it stands. Any sort of added distress in life can significantly increase the impact of depression in seniors.
One of the main problems is that it is difficult for gay and lesbian seniors to find care. They are often subjected to ridicule in nursing homes, isolated by family, or even being abused or called derogatory names by personal caregivers. The problem was so bad that several caregiving agencies have surfaced that cater to the specific needs of LGBTQI seniors.
The LGBTQI information and assistance program aims to address the concerns of the LGBTQI elders.