A majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders fear that they will experience discrimination in long-term care facilities, and more than half believe staff or even other residents would abuse or neglect them, the results of a national online survey has found.
Called LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field, the report is based on a survey of 769 respondents conducted from October 2009 through June 2010. The survey did not use a representative or scientific sample but did take comments from respondents on their experiences with long-term care and treatment.
Not all respondents actually identified as LGBT, with many identifying as family or close friends, care providers, legal advice providers and other interested parties.
Around 853 instances of mistreatment were reported as part of the survey, identifying possible violations of federal nursing home laws.
Other key findings of the report include:
- Only 22% said they could be open with facility staff
- 89% predict that staff would discriminate
- 43% reported 853 instances of mistreatment
- 93 respondents reported restrictions on visitors
- 24 respondents reported denial of medical treatment
- Many highlighted the importance of health-care power of attorney
The report was prepared by the National Senior Citizens Law Center in collaboration with Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE).
The report gives suggestions on how simple changes to public information and training for long-term care staff would benefit LGBT elders and ensure that they receive the very best of care that takes into account their specific needs in the landscape of LGBT-rights as it stands.
The website www.LGBTLongTermCare.org houses the report and is a place where LGBT elders and those responsible for the care of LGBT elders can find further information and resources on issues surrounding LGBT adult care.
The website also displays media and videos from LGBT elders. The following is of the highly acclaimed Phyllis Lyon, a well known lesbian-identifying activist: