As June is LGTBQ Pride Month, let us celebrate it by being aware that Senior LGTBQ Elders are bullied, isolated, lonely just like LGTBQ younger people.
A recent report found that LGBT elders tend to have more medical problems, higher poverty levels social isolation than straight elders. Same-sex partners are not allowed many of the resources afforded to spouses and biological family members during the aging process. LGBT elders tend to lack support from many mainstream aging programs such as senior centers and places of worship or they are afraid of the stigma and discrimination that could result from joining those programs.
Mainstream retirement communities often deny LGBT elder couples the right to live in them. They often continue to live on their own, even if they need access to the services offered by those communities. These elders may fear discrimination and being ostracized by housing staff and often stay in the closet to obtain housing. Because large numbers of gay elders choose to live alone, they have fewer opportunities for social interaction than their heterosexual peers.
As a result, many LGBT elders live in the community and can really benefit from the quality of life activities that geriatric care managers can bring into the home through a personal assistance service and reminiscence therapy
One LGBT program in California created social connections by arranging dinner parties, shopping trips, and grocery shopping.
Finding activities that help elders grow and nurture their emotional, intellectual, physical, and/or spiritual quality of life can help to nurture an older person’s whole life and bring back joy.
Escorting LGTBQ Elders to movies about gay elders or renting them through Netflix and watching with them is a great activity. There are terrific, even academy award winning film like Beginners, you can watch together and talk about, as activities.
But what about the quality of life for LGBT aging clients. This recent article in the New York Times shows how one retirement community responding and found joy for LGBT clients, where many LGTB aging clients have to fight for acceptance.
If aging life or geriatric care manager want to find resources for LGBT aging clients or more about their issues, The Journal of Aging Life Care has an article with many resources to help you serve these vulnerable clients in finding Joy and acceptance.
The Journal Of Aging Life has a resources list for a research tool for aging LGBT clients edited by Jennifer Crittenden
The Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition has a seminal chapter written by geriatric care manager Nina Herndon with a quality of life assessment to help you pinpoint the quality of life needs of all clients.
Nina also has developed the first activity kit for the quality of life, Joyful Moments .
Care Managers can use this activity kits to develop quality of life activities with their clients and home care and care managers that have home care can utilize the kit to teach their careproviders to create quality of life activities that give seniors they serve Joy in addition to care ‘
My GCM Operations Manual includes a product Concierge Companion that offers geriatric care managers a quality of life service that provides quality of life activivies to seniors through rereactional therapy aides who follow a GCM Care plan to indivualize quality of life activities for elders at any stage of their aging including dementia.