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LGBT Elders Fear Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities Says New Report

LGBT Elders Fear Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities Says New Report

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.

You can download the full report by going here.

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:

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Borya.

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26 comments

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5:06AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

We are providing free long term care insuarance tips:

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2:32PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Interesting article. Thank you Steve. Being a senior, I have been dreading the day I may have to go to a long term facility. I have heard of many abuses happening from hitting to sexual abuse. My husband says "That will be the day when anyone trys to put me in one of these places". I can't even imagine how the LGBT elderly are feeling. Too bad this world has become so bigotted.

2:24PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

The respect for elders anymore has left. My heart goes out to them as how they have to suffer & all the pain they go through.

11:30PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

Actually I thought most elder care places were equal opportunity abusers.

5:59PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

Gender is an illusion. We are not our physical bodies.

3:57PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

I think its a tragedy whenever an elder is abused. it doesn't matter if it's LGBT or not, it should not be tolerated.

3:02PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

This is heartbreaking

12:50PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

The elderly should not have to worry,they had all this when they were younger,the latter of there days should be filled with peace of mind

11:30AM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

Our older americans are already mistreated and abused regardless of their sexual persuasion in elder care facilities in throughout America. I can't begin to imagine the added torment LGBT residents would recieve. Maybe by addressing the first issue we can protect the dignity of the elderly LGBT community as well.

10:25AM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

What a bigotted country !!

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