A new report has come out regarding the plight of LGBT seniors in America today. "The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience Among Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Older Adults" has some shocking results.
The situation for LGBT seniors is at a crisis level for the community. This report should be required reading by all LGBT community leaders and organizations. The good news is that LGBT seniors show an amazing resilience and courage in facing their situation. Here are some of the oft-times disturbing findings:
-Compared to heterosexual seniors there were significantly higher rate of disabilities among LGBT seniors.
-A third of LGBT seniors report serious depression
-Almost two thirds of LGBT seniors have been victimized at least three times or more.
-13% of LGBT seniors have been denied healthcare or receive inferior care compared to their heterosexual peers.
-20% hide their sexual or gender identity from their physicians.
-Of the participants in the study, 41% of transgender older adults, 41% of bisexual men, 34% of gay men, and 6% of lesbian and bisexual women have served in the military.
-Among LGBT older adult participants, an alarming number report disability (47%), depression (31%), and loneliness (53%).
-9% of all LGBT older adult participants are living with HIV disease, while more than one in five bisexual older men and nearly one in seven gay older men have HIV. These statistics are especially alarming given that by 2015, half of the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV are projected to be age 50 or older.
-While services and programs assisting older adults are readily available in many communities, they are most often geared toward the general population and fail to take into account the unique circumstances facing LGBT older adults such as fear of discrimination and, often, the lack of children to help them.