Navigation Links
LGBT seniors face harder old age, national study finds
Date:11/16/2011

Aging and health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender baby boomers have been largely ignored by services, policies and research. These seniors face higher rates of disability, physical and mental distress and a lack of access to services, according to the first study on aging and health in these communities.

The study, released Nov. 16 and led by Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen and colleagues at the University of Washington's School of Social Work, indicates that prevention and intervention strategies must be developed to address the unique needs of these seniors, whose numbers are expected to double to more than 4 million by 2030.

"The higher rates of aging and health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults is a major concern for public health," said Fredriksen-Goldsen, a UW professor of social work and director of UW's Institute for Multigenerational Health.

"The health disparities reflect the historical and social context of their lives, and the serious adversity they have encountered can jeopardize their health and willingness to seek services in old age."

She presented some of the study's key findings last week during a congressional briefing.

The study highlights how these adults have unique circumstances, such as fear of discrimination and often the lack of children to help them. Senior housing, transportation, legal services, support groups and social events were the most commonly cited services needed in the LGBT community, according to the study.

Fredriksen-Goldsen and her co-authors surveyed 2,560 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults aged 50-95 across the United States. The researchers found that the study participants had greater rates of disability, depression and loneliness and increased likeliness to smoke and binge-drink compared with heterosexuals of similar ages.

Those seniors are also at greater risk for social isolation, which is "linked to poor mental and physical health, cognitive impairment, chronic illness and premature death," Fredriksen-Goldsen said. Study participants were more likely to live alone and less likely to be partnered or married than heterosexuals, which may result in less social support and financial security as they age.

Histories of victimization and discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity also contribute to poor health. The study showed that 80 percent had been victimized at least once during their lifetimes, including verbal and physical assaults, threats of physical violence and being "outed," and damaged property. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they were fired from a job because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Nearly four out of 10 had considered suicide at some point.

Twenty-one percent of those surveyed did not tell their doctors about their sexual orientation or gender identity out of fear of receiving inferior health care or being turned away for services, which 13 percent of respondents had endured. As one respondent, a 67-year-old gay man, put it, "I was advised by my primary care doctor to not get my HIV tested there, but rather do it anonymously, because he knew they were discriminating."

Lack of openness about sexuality "prevents discussions about sexual health, risk of breast or prostate cancer, hepatitis, HIV risk, hormone therapy or other risk factors," Fredriksen-Goldsen said.

The good news? "LGBT older adults are resilient and living their lives and building their communities," Fredriksen-Goldsen said. Of the study's respondents, 91 percent reported using wellness activities such as meditation and 82 percent said they regularly exercised. Nearly all 90 percent felt good about belonging to their communities. And 38 percent stated that they attended spiritual or religious services, indicating a promising social outlet.

Social connections are key, the study noted because, unlike their heterosexual counterparts, most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors rely heavily on partners and friends of similar age to provide assistance as they age. While social ties are critical, there may be limits to the ability of those older adults to "provide care over the long-term, especially if decision-making is required for the older adult receiving care," Fredriksen-Goldsen said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Molly McElroy
mollywmc@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Low-Income Seniors at Greater Risk for Heart Failure
2. Money Woes May Drive Some Seniors to Smoke, Drink More
3. Seniors Choose Medicare Prescription Plans Wisely: Study
4. Mini Stem Cell Transplant May Help Seniors With Blood Cancer
5. Nearly half of Ontario seniors do not see dentists regularly
6. Fall-Prone Seniors May Have Trouble Adjusting to Poorer Vision
7. Congressional briefing sheds light on poor seniors employment struggles
8. Complex choices in Medicare Advantage program may overwhelm seniors, study finds
9. Being Overweight May Take Years Off Seniors Lives
10. Barrier to effective treatment for seniors -- the cost of medicine
11. New report shows seniors economic security falling
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... clinical outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the ... their mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... the men and women who lost their lives in military battle for the country. ... discount cards in 2015 to provide more programs that empower independence for disabled military ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are nearly 14.5 million people ... cancer survivors worldwide. On Sunday, June 5, 2016, communities around the world will gather ... Day®. , National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual worldwide Celebration of Life ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Dr. James Maisel will present on “Macular ... on June 4, 2016, 1:30-3:30 pm at the Farmingdale Public Library. The presentation ... of New York , is a Board Certified ophthalmologist who completed his fellowship ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial ... is sharing tips to make sure your family and vehicle are ready to ... Council, there may be 439 deaths and an additional 50,500 serious injuries from motor ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , May 27, 2016 ... biotechnology company focused on developing products for Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and ... Commissiong will be presenting at two upcoming investor conferences: ... Conference Center, 730 Third Avenue, New York City ... at 3:00pm Marcum MicroCap Conference   ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016   Change Healthcare ... analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services designed ... entered into a strategic channel partnership with ... software solutions and revenue cycle management services ... and rehabilitation clinics to optimize revenue, operational ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... and GERMANTOWN, Maryland , May 25, 2016 ... ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that the company ... Diagnostics GmbH to develop and commercialize predictive assays in oncology. ... as a marker to predict effectiveness of anthracycline treatment in ... "We are pleased to partner with Therawis, which developed the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: