Wednesday, April 01, 2015

When I'm Sixty-Four

As an aging trans woman I am supposed to slow down and enjoy life but many LGBT people are finding that they have another battle on their hands, the New Haven Register had this article about LGBT seniors…
State addresses unique needs of LGBT senior citizens

Among those who are aging is the growing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. It is conservatively estimated more than 3 million LGBT people in the U.S. are 55 and older. In Connecticut, there are about 21,000 adults age 62 or older, which will grow close to 36,000 in the next decade.

While many needs of the LGBT community are identical to those who are not LGBT, this community has experienced differences in their life that affect their engagement in the senior service system, including stigma and discrimination. Even though many social gains have been made in this era of "marriage equality," the historical and often contemporary experience of discrimination means that many LGBT persons are distrustful of the service system and reluctant to seek services. This results in a higher risk of social isolation.
The article says that a recent study found,

  • Quality of life: This report found that the LGBT community, like their mainstream counterparts, seek to spend their elder years enjoying leisure, travel and volunteer activities, including serving as mentors later in life.
  • Financial Security: Polling found that this community had greater concerns than the non-LGBT group with financial security and 'outliving' their money.
  • Healthcare: The LGBT community reported a "fear of judgment and inferior care from healthcare providers, with many LGBT older people not disclosing their sexual orientations or gender identities to their providers"
  • Loss of community: As they grow older, the LGBT community has seen their support systems shrink, with larger numbers of LGBT older people living alone, and fearing discrimination in housing and long-term care settings.
  • Many LGBT senior citizens are going back into the because of fear discrimination in nursing homes or senior centers. The article then mentions the group that I am with as part of the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition,

In Connecticut, there is a new initiative, LGBT Aging Advocacy, which is helping to increase the awareness of differences and unique needs for the aging LGBT community. The initiative is a collaboration among community members, service providers and Connecticut state agencies.
The needs of elder care of trans people are just starting realized.

Can you believe that all the Beatles are over 70.

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