Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Report: LGBT seniors subjected to more stress than peers
by Erica Demarest
2011-11-30

This article shared 4585 times since Wed Nov 30, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Senior citizens who identify as LGBT face higher rates of disabilities and physical and mental stress than their heterosexual peers, according to a new study from the University of Washington's School of Social Work.

Titled "The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults," the study has made history as one of the first federally funded reports to examine challenges faced by LGBT seniors.

Queer activists are hailing the document, released Nov. 16, as an important step toward acquiring necessary senior services.

"There's such an invisibility factor to this community," said Britta Larson, senior services director at the Center on Halsted. "It's not often talked about. It's not often seen. Even within our own gay community, it's sort of pushed aside… [This report] is long overdue. Without the research that backs what we're seeing on a daily basis here [at the Center], it's difficult for us to procure funding and create programs."

A multi-state research team led by the School of Social Work's Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen surveyed 2,560 LGBT adults aged 50-95 throughout the United States. Across the board, LGBT seniors reported higher levels of loneliness, depression and binge drinking than heterosexuals in the same age group.

Nearly one-half of those interviewed reported a disability, while about one-third said they've experienced depression. Four of every 10 participants have contemplated suicide.

"Many of our older adults do not have biological families that they rely upon, that they're close to. They may not have had children… and 80 percent of the caregiving in this country comes from families," Larson said. "Many of our seniors have support systems comprised of families of choice—of their friends. But if those people are your age, they're aging too."

As social circles and financial resources dwindle, many LGBT seniors face debilitating loneliness and social isolation that can be "linked to poor mental and physical health, cognitive impairment, chronic illness and premature death," Fredriksen-Goldsen said.

More than half the participants surveyed reported chronic loneliness. Researchers suggested that finding and creating open, accepting communities could help stem these feelings. But for LGBT seniors with limited housing options, that's easier said than done.

"It's incredibly common for older adults to go back into the closet once they enter senior housing or senior living," Larson said. "They may not feel welcome as an LGBT-identified older adult. They may not feel comfortable coming out."

Histories of victimization have created lasting fears for many seniors. The study showed that 80 percent of respondents had been victimized in some way during their lifetimes; this included verbal and physical assault, threats of physical violence or being 'outed,' and damaged property. Additionally, 21 percent of participants said they were denied a job or promotion because of perceived sexual orientation.

When it came to medical care, 21 percent of respondents said they had not disclosed their sexual orientation to doctors for fear of receiving inferior care. And 13 percent reported being turned away from healthcare professionals after coming out.

Fredriksen-Goldsen cautioned that hiding one's sexual orientation could lead to severe health problems, including increased risks of breast or prostate cancer, hepatitis and HIV.

"If you do not disclose to your doctor," Larson explains, "that means that you're not going to be getting proper medical service. Your doctor's not going to be asking the right questions and doing the right screenings."

There was some positive healthcare news, however. Of those interviewed, 91 percent of LGBT older adults reported participating in wellness activities such as meditation and photography. And 82 percent said they engage in modern physical activities such as brisk walks.

"LGBT older adults are resilient and living their lives and building their communities," Fredriksen-Goldsen said.

She presented the study's key findings Nov. 9 during a congressional briefing. Fredriksen-Goldsen urged lawmakers to take note of the growing LGBT senior population, which is expected to double to more than 4 million by 2030.

"The higher rates of aging and health disparities among LGBT older adults are a major concern," Fredriksen-Goldsen said. "Prevention and intervention strategies must be developed to address their unique and mounting needs and to effectively respond to the increasing number of older adults in these communities."

Larson said the Center on Halsted, which helped conduct research for the study, is home to one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive LGBT-specific senior programs. SAGE offers free lunches, holiday programming and social and educational events; it is currently working to build the Midwest's first affordable LGBT senior housing center.

It's not enough, Larson said.

"When our seniors come to the Center on Halsted, they are very comfortable being out and being who they are and embracing one another," she said, "but as I got to know them on a deeper level, I realized that many of them are not out to their employer or to their family… Many of them remain closeted in one aspect of their lives or another."

Larson continued: "Having a safe and welcoming place is important, but they shouldn't have to come here to feel that welcoming atmosphere. They should be able to feel that same level of comfort wherever they are."

"The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults" was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.


This article shared 4585 times since Wed Nov 30, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Simmons introduces measure for statewide senior residents' council 2022-02-26
-- From a press release - SPRINGFIELD—In an effort to support seniors and provide them with greater access to the resources they rely on, Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) initiated a measure that will create the Senior Housing Residents' Advisory Counc ...


Gay News

Martwick: Dept on Aging seeking nominees for Senior Hall of Fame 2022-01-12
- Illinois state Sen. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) announced the Illinois Department on Aging is seeking nominations for the Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame. "Many of our senior citizen neighbors have put incredible amounts of time and effort ...


Gay News

HRC Foundation, SAGE launch guide for LGBTQ+ elders seeking affirming long-term care 2021-12-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SAGE, the world's ...


Gay News

VIEWS Young people need to listen to LGBTQ elders' intergenerational experiences 2021-11-20
- For one of my first Windy City Times assignments, I was lucky enough to spend nearly three hours interviewing longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Michael O'Connor. As queer individuals living in Chicago in 2021, we had plenty in ...


Gay News

SAGE Board of Directors dedicates $1M to support trans elders 2021-11-17
--From a press release - [New York, NY] SAGE, the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, is proud to announce the Transgender and Non-Binary (TGNB) Elder Program Equity Fund. Trans Awareness Week is ...


Gay News

New study reveals disparities for LGBTQ+ seniors 2021-10-07
- Although many LGBTQ+ seniors have lived through the arc of the LGBTQ-rights movement, they are nevertheless often forgotten in conversations about discrimination. A new study is shedding light on that omission. AARP Illinois and SAGE Research's ...


Gay News

Report: Older LGBTQs lack access to healthcare, financial security, caregiving 2021-10-05
--From a press release - Chicago LGBTQ older adults across Illinois are struggling to get the healthcare, financial security and caregiving support they desperately need, according to a new report from AARP Illinois and SAGE released today. The disparities, outlined ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation to further protect older Illinoisans 2021-08-16
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — Joined by legislators, advocates, and the Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA) on Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker today signed legislation that reflects the lessons learned from the COVID-19 ...


Gay News

SAGE and MAP: Why LGBT older people need the Equality Act now 2021-07-14
--From a press release - (July 14, 2021) A new issue brief released today by SAGE and the Movement Advancement Project, Why LGBT Older People Need the Equality Act Now, details how LGBT older people would benefit from passage of ...


Gay News

Leading groups submit amicus briefs against discrimination against LGBT surviving spouses 2021-02-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON D.C. AARP, AARP Foundation, SAGE and the American Society on Aging (ASA) filed amicus briefs today in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that the ...


Gay News

Report: 51 years since Stonewall health, poverty, housing hurdles face LGBTQ 50+ NYers 2021-01-28
--From a press release - NEW YORK, N.Y. LGBTQ New Yorkers age 50+ face steeper barriers to healthcare, higher rates of poverty, and greater challenges to their economic security than their non-LGBTQ counterparts, and the COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated ...


Gay News

Report: HIV & Aging, Integrating Services to Improve Care for Overlooked Population 2020-12-08
--From a press release - (December 8, 2020) — HIV has become an aging issue now that more than half of people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are 50 or older. Thanks to advancements in treatment, people with HIV can ...


Gay News

New study examines pathways into poverty for LGBTQ adults 2020-09-30
--From a press release - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law provides an exploration of common pathways into and prolonging poverty among a diverse population of low-income LGBTQ people in California. An analysis of interviews ...


Gay News

AgeOptions receives certification to serve older LGBTQ+ adults 2020-07-28
- Oak Park-based AgeOptions has received SAGECare Platinum certification, a distinction recognizing organizational competency to serve LGBT+ older adults, a press release noted. SAGECare is a division of SAGE—the nation's oldest ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal Sues HHS to Block Effort to Gut Protections for LGBTQ Patients 2020-06-22
- (Washington, D.C., June 22, 2020) — Today, Lambda Legal and Steptoe & Johnson LLP filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published health care discrimination rule that purports to ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.