Michael Adams is the executive director of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders).
Here are the five main things he says must change for the U.S. to be prepared to serve the “full diversity of its aging population.”
- Basic Health Care: LGBT elders are half as likely as heterosexuals to have close family to lean on for home health care. This means they are more dependent on professional caregivers and providers. In addition to costing more, the risk of encountering prejudice also increases.
- Caregiving Issues: Unlike heterosexuals, the LGBT community members often need special arrangements to be recognized as having certain rights in the medical world. For example, Resonate offers access to Personal Service Agreements when deemed appropriate. (Source: AARP: “LGBT Advocate Sees Hurdles Ahead” August 2016) It is crucial to understand what is needed and proactively put it in place – before there is need.
- Financial Insecurity: LGBT older persons are less financially stable than Americans are as a whole. (Source: SAGE Data August 2016) Past discriminatory policies from taxation through Social Security have negatively affected financial well being today.
- Social Isolation: Due to prejudicial beliefs and insensitive behavior from others, the LGBT aging person is prone to isolation. Harmful effects may include depression, delayed care, poor nutrition, and premature mortality. (Source: AARP: “LGBT Advocate Sees Hurdles Ahead” August 2016)
- Access to Aging Services: Oftentimes, due to fear of harassment and/or hostility and lack of proper training, the LGBT community is less likely to access aging services. (Source: AARP: “LGBT Advocate Sees Hurdles Ahead” August 2016)
The personal, social, and financial implications of this list of issues are vital to address. The Resonate team welcomes you and the opportunity to create comprehensive solutions to aging issue unique to the LGBT community.
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®