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Right at Home Joins the LGBTQ Community in Celebrating Pride Month

While great strides have been made in accepting the rights and recognition of the LGBTQ community, discrimination still exists today, especially between different generations. LGBTQ people of the baby boomer generation were generally not accepted in their communities, but the reality is different for those of the Generation Z age group who have grown up in a more accepting environment.

June is Pride Month, and Right at Home joins the LGBTQ community in supporting an inclusive environment and celebrating equality and diversity.

The History of Pride Month

The first Pride Parade was held in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago as a way to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Thousands of LGBTQ+ people gathered to remember Stonewall and demonstrate for equal rights. That started decades of activism and demonstrations for equality. In 1987, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality as a mental disorder from its diagnostic manual. The following years saw lots of changes. In 2017, there were more than 2.7 million LGBT adults over age 50 in the United States, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

Concerns of Elderly LGBTQ People

So how do we support this segment of our aging population? Right at Home helps elderly LGBTQ people age in place by providing in-home care. Unfortunately, because of the stigma of being gay, many older adults are reluctant to reach out to others for assistance.

According to Jason Flatt, an assistant professor in the social and behavioral health department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Public Health, in addition to the general discomfort of having a stranger perform intimate tasks, such as toileting, many LGBTQ people are concerned about receiving subpar care from people who might discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A 2022 AARP survey asking about the concerns of LGBTQ adults age 45 and older reveals the following:

  • 82% are concerned about having adequate family and/or social supports to rely on as they age.
  • 54% have a disability that keeps them from participating fully in work, school, household, or other activities.
  • 52% feel left out, feel they lack companionship, and feel isolated as caregivers.
  • 41% of LGBTQ people are concerned about hiding their identity to access suitable housing as they age.

Tips for Finding LGBTQ Resources

A good place to start locating LGBTQ resources is your local community. If aging in place is the goal, look online for in-home care organizations to help with housekeeping, shopping, transportation, and personal care such as hygiene. You can use Right at Home’s office locator to find the closest Right at Home office to learn about companionship and personal care services.

When interviewing in-home providers, be upfront about your or your loved one’s sexuality. If they are not accepting, keep looking.

If you or your loved one needs long-term care, visit SAGE, an advocacy group for LGBTQ+ elders. The organization identifies health care resources and offers a Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI) that promotes equitable and inclusive long-term care and senior housing communities for LGBTQ+ elders and their families.

To find social groups accepting of LGBTQ people, go online and search “LGBTQ social groups near me.”

The Future: A Ways to Go for the LGBTQ Community

In the U.S., we’ve come a long way in acceptance of the LGBTQ community, but a review of headlines in the news tells us we still need improvement. Opening our minds and hearts will help achieve true equality for our fellow citizens.

Marsha Johns, blog author

Marsha Johns is a veteran health care marketer and award-winning writer. She strives to make medical topics understandable and relatable for all readers.

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