Concerns about aging and caregiving among middle-aged and older lesbian and gay adults

Sara J. Czaja, Samir Sabbag, Chin Chin Lee, Richard Schulz, Samantha Lang, Tatiana Vlahovic, Adrienne Jaret, Catherine Thurston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Despite the increasing number of lesbian and gay older adults, research geared towards health and well-being of this population is limited. Many lesbian and gay seniors experience health disparities and are at risk for poor health outcomes. The aims of this study were to gather in-depth information on the concerns of lesbian and gay elders with respect to aging and care needs. Method: The sample included 124 gay men and lesbian women aged 50+ years. Data were gathered via focus groups and questionnaires. The focus groups addressed: (1) concerns about aging in the LGBT community, (2) barriers to needed support and services, (3) concerns about caregiving and (4) needed programs for lesbian and gay seniors. Results: Concerns expressed about aging included: lack of financial security, lack of family or social support, fears about the lack of someone to provide needed care, and discrimination in healthcare or service communities. Participants also indicated concerns about being alone and vulnerable and a need for resources and support programs, specifically for lesbian and gay older adults and for lesbian and gay caregivers. Conclusions: These findings suggest needed areas of support and programs for older gay men and lesbian women. They also suggest that healthcare professionals might need more training regarding the particular needs and concerns of this community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1118
Number of pages12
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • LGBT aging
  • caregiving
  • gay older adults
  • lesbian older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Czaja, S. J., Sabbag, S., Lee, C. C., Schulz, R., Lang, S., Vlahovic, T., Jaret, A., & Thurston, C. (2016). Concerns about aging and caregiving among middle-aged and older lesbian and gay adults. Aging and Mental Health, 20(11), 1107-1118. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2015.1072795