Challenges Faced by the Aging LGBT Community

The Administration on Aging estimates that there are between 1.75 million and 4 million Americans over the age of 60 who are LGBT. Although many LGBT seniors are satisfied with their lives, there are still many who remain closeted despite the recent societal advances our country has made in accepting this community. These aging members of the LGBT community face significant issues as they age, and these issues are chronicled in a recent documentary entitled Gen Silent.

Gen Silent tells the story of several members of the LBGT community and how they are facing aging and illness. The film displays the challenges these people face when it comes to securing proper care without discrimination.  It also explores the following issues as challenges for the aging LGBT community:

  • Older LGBT adults are less likely to have children to assist them, and are less likely to have someone to call upon in time of need.
  • Many LGBT seniors are socially isolated and rely upon a partner or friend.
  • When social agencies or private health-care providers, such as aides or home nurses, are needed, the prospect can be frightening. They do not want to be outed.
  • Many LGBT seniors are returning to the closet, if they ever came out, in fear of discrimination and reprisal by the very people who are supposed to assist them in times of need.

According to “The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults,” released at the first White House Conference on LGBT Aging, the aging LGBT population has a greater rate of disability, depression, and loneliness than their heterosexual counterparts. The unique needs of the aging LGBT population require special medical care and conversations with medical providers with sensitivity and openness.

Whatever your sexual orientation, if you haven’t done so, now is the time to get started with planning for your future and for your loved ones! Read our recent blog post about why it is especially important for the LGBT community to plan ahead. We here at The Fairfax and Fredericksburg LGBT Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. have strategies in place to help LGBT couples. With advance planning, each person, regardless of sexual orientation, can retain the benefit of the money, income and assets it has taken a lifetime to accumulate. Learn more at , or call us at our Virginia Elder Law Fairfax office at 703-691-1888 or at our Virginia Elder Law Fredericksburg office at 540-479-1435 to make an appointment for a consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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