It is PRIDE MONTH but Many LGTBQ elders have a miserable Quality of Life.A recent report found that LGBT elders tend to have more medical problems, higher poverty levels social isolation than straight elders. Loneliness and isolation among LGTBQ elders bring” elevated rates of depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use and abuse, and suicide ideation and attempts, as well as psychiatric co-morbidity.” 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 so 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 be 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.
Geriatric Care Managers and Aging Life Professionals can use quality of Life Activities to bring back joy to LGTBQ seniors. Here are five resources.
Use Reminiscence Therapy
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
Arrange dinner parties and Outings for Emotional QOL
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. For example, look at this youtube on an older woman who reconnected with art, which is her talent and spirituality and younger people plus her family, through a quality of life assessment.
Create LGTBQ Quality of Life in Assisted Living
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.
Read Journal Of Aging Life Issue on LGTBQ ELders
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 In the article below By Jennifer Crittenden
Read Handbook of Geriatric Care Management QOL Resources
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 including LGTBQ seniors they serve Joy in addition to care ‘
With COVID-19 Share Nina Herndon’s VIRTUAL Activities Program with Your Clients
To respond to COVID-19 and the shelter in place orders for all seniors, who are the most vulnerable including LGTBQ seniors who may have already had HIV has developed a Sage Hummingbird Virtual program you can use remotely.
Nina also has developed the first activity kit for the quality of life, Joyful Moments , that you can use to train care managers on inventive activities to use in your own GCM or homecare program.
Find out more to help not only seniors with COVID but the most discriminated seniors besides seniors of color –-LGTBQ during PRIDE MONTH .
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