Where Can LGBT Seniors Age Without Discrimination?

Please Share

rainbow flagWe have some thoughts about emerging solutions to an aging part of our population, the LGBT community.

For the longest time, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community got little other than negative press and highlighting of controversial issues.  But things are changing.  Millions of people who are retiring include LGBT individuals.  What is our society is going to do with these folks? 
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates 3 million LGBT elders live in the United States. As Baby Boomers age, that number will grow.  In some places, forward thinking people are creating LGBT friendly retirement communities where acceptance and a supportive environment are available to anyone.  Can we do this without special, prejudice- free facilities where aging LGBT folks are welcome?  Maybe not.  READ MORE
For LGBT older adults, a lifetime of employment discrimination and other factors contribute to disproportionately high poverty rates, according to the National Consumer Law Center.  Discrimination in care facilities likely mirrors society-wide discrimination, adding to the difficulties any aging person must face in deciding where to live and how to receive care in a dignified way.  For low income LGBT seniors, many of whom do not have children, there may be little or no family to take on the task of caregiving..
World News reported recently that Spain is getting its first LGBT retirement center in Madrid.  The article quotes Federico Armenteros, founder of an NGO for Spain’s LGBT community.  He cites the reason for building the center is that “elderly LGBT don’t exist” in the eyes of most people. That, he says, “pushes people back into the closet,” often those who have fought for equality during their younger years.For those who have been out of the closet for some time, it would likely be very depressing to have to go back to it and hide one’s orientation in order to get needed assistance in a care facility, senior’s apartment complex or assisted living community.
 In my own area, a new LGBT friendly community has recently opened at Fountaingrove Lodge in Sonoma County, CA.  It was the concept of a family with a personal interest in the issues.  Members of the LGBT community approached the Gallagher family and got their commitment to do the project.  They wanted aging people to be welcomed, and not judged in a beautiful retirement setting.  Part of this population has been marginalized. Many have lived most of their lives in the closet.  The project has 70 homes of varying sizes and offers a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care and hospice care.  It has been opened just 4 1/2 months as of this writing and the memory care portion is almost filled already.
This is an upscale  place, according to its marketing staff, for those who can afford the hefty entry fees and monthly rent.  A low income LGBT friendly retirement home is in the works in San Francisco, with financial qualification criteria. Staff training at Fountaingrove Lodge includes advice about what language to use that is considered politically correct in this population.  The staff are taught to respect everyone, what challenges their residents are likely to face and how to deal with sexuality.  Employees are carefully chosen to screen for an open attitude and willingness to accept everyone without judgment.  There are other LGBT friendly projects across the U.S. but according to Fountaingrove Lodge staff, none of the others offer a continuum of care, with memory care and hospice also available.
Here at AgingParents.com, we have witnessed many of the ongoing challenges of aging which are difficult enough for elders without adding discrimination to the mix.  We support the concept of creating LGBT friendly places for all seniors to live. No matter what a person’s sexual orientation, the problems of aging are the same, and LGBT folks have to cope with financial capacity issues, loneliness, caregiving, family conflicts, elder abuse and dementia just like anyone else.  
Every person deserves to age with dignity. In a community such as Fountaingrove Lodge, those with sufficient means to enjoy a great quality of life can do so without fear.  For those with less means to pay for care, we hope to see more Federally approved retirement communities where anyone can live and age in freedom.
For help with age-related issues in your relationship or your family, contact AgingParents.com, a resource for you.  We offer expert  advice, conflict resolution services, assessment of financial capacity and decision-making ability, and many educational videos and blog posts to assist you.  Request a complimentary 15 minute consultation by clicking here.

Tiny URL for this post:

Please Share
One comment on “Where Can LGBT Seniors Age Without Discrimination?
  1. Sarah Cleary says:

    In Boulder, CO, the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging has an award winning program supporting the aging LGBT population. It is called Project Visibility (www.projectvisibility.org). They do lots of awareness and sensitivity training for local care providers. These businesses and programs can display the logo to alert potential customers that they appreciate and support the aging LGBT community.

JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
  • What To Do When Your Aging Parent Is No Longer Safe Living Alone But Refuses To Move July 11, 2019
    What To Do When Your Aging Parent Is No Longer Safe Living Alone But Refuses To Move Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder law attorney, AgingParents.com “My mom is not safe by herself but she refuses help!” “My dad can’t manage alone…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Here’s The Newest Utility Bill Scam May 30, 2019
    Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder law attorney, AgingParents.com We live in a county with a high number of older residents. A neighbor recently alerted all in our area to yet another scam she had encountered, targeting the unsuspecting. Here’s how it…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • A Remedy For Isolated Aging Parents April 30, 2019
    By Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, AgingParents.com The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2060, nearly twenty-five percent of Americans will be age 65 and above.  At the same point, the number of people age 85 and older will triple. What will they…Read more ›
    Carolyn Rosenblatt
  • Warn Your Aging Parents About Fake “Social Security” Calls–They’re Scams April 10, 2019
    Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, RN, Elder law attorney, AgingParents.com Scams targeting our aging loved ones never seem to stop. Thieves can fool the recipient of a call by showing a “real” number on caller ID with spoofing computer software. That’s a…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief