Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-11-26
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

WINDY CITY TIMES' 2014 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Week one of two WINDY CITY TIMES' 2014 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Week one of two
I'll just have one glass Tell the world (or just visitors ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

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

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

THEATER Osgood celebrates milestone career in stage managing 2014-11-05
Ribbon cutting at LGBTQ-friendly senior apartments 2014-10-10
LGBTQ-friendly senior housing now open 2014-10-08
Victor Salvo talks about salvaging history in a 'Fireside Chat' 2014-10-07
Nat'l HIV/AIDS, Aging Awareness Day; Richmond, Va.'s, pitch 2014-09-16
LGBT-friendly housing to open by mid-Sept. 2014-09-03
LGBT aging: Special issue available on role of social work 2014-09-02
Investigation exposes housing discrimination in suburbs 2014-08-14
Out former cop speaks at Prime Timers Regional Gathering 2014-07-22
HBHC's HEALE program: Educating nurses about LGBTQ elders 2014-07-02
Prime Timers regional event July 17-20 2014-07-02
'Jersey Boys' discuss fifth gay 'Season,' aging in movies 2014-06-18
Showing of Gen Silent, film on aging LGBTs, discrimination 2014-06-06
HBHC forum looks at aging in LGBT community 2014-05-30
HBHC holds town hall on LGBTQ elder care 2014-05-21
HBHC town-hall meeting to look at health, aging 2014-05-07
LGBTQ Senior Housing applications to open up 2014-04-23
Milwaukee LGBT Center offers Elders in Transition Support Group. 2014-02-13
LGBTQ community discusses caring for aging parents 2013-12-10
LGBTQ Kids, Eldercare Issues Program; Nov. Nat'l Caregiver Month 2013-10-27
National Seniors Foundation educates on Social Security, LGBTs 2013-10-17
Philadelphia LGBT-friendly senior housing facility opens soon 2013-09-09
Night of the Daytimers: Aging with HIV in Edgewater 2013-08-06
Old Lesbians Organizing for Change gather in St. Louis 2013-07-24
New guidance from HHS protects LGBT elders 2013-07-01
SAGEWorks Vocational Program offers seven week skills program 2013-06-06
Chicago LGBTQA Senior Housing breaks ground 2013-06-03
Boystown LGBT senior housing project nears groundbreaking 2013-05-22
SAGE report looks at LGBT elders of color 2013-05-01
Report on the disparities for LGBT elders of color 2013-04-17
Workshop on aging covers LGBT sexual expression and long-term care 2013-04-17
Chicago Leather Club hosts workshop for LGBTQ seniors 2013-04-08
Fawzia Mirza in new Goodman Hudes staging 2013-03-29
SAGE appoints two Chicagoans to board 2013-03-15
SAGE unveiles Data Collection Guide on orientation, gender identity 2013-03-14
Chicago LGBT-friendly senior housing land transfer approved 2013-03-13
Basta leads American Society on Aging's LGBT council 2013-03-13
VIEWPOINTS The AP discouraging 'homophobia' is discouraging 2012-12-05
Diversity, inclusivity among topics at SAGE conference 2012-11-17
Kickoff for 1st low-income, LGBT-friendly urban senior housing 2012-11-14





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the 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.

 

 

 



 

LGBT activist Ouma on work, Tanzania and future hopes
 
Theater, dance, music news and events
 
Having HIV/AIDS: Fighting stigma
 
Afraid of Dark to premiere at Chicago Cultural Center
 
In the Life: Nicole Bashor
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.