Protecting and Ensuring the Well-Being of LGBT Older Adults: A Policy Roadmap

By Espinoza, Robert | Generations, Summer 2016 | Go to article overview

Protecting and Ensuring the Well-Being of LGBT Older Adults: A Policy Roadmap


Espinoza, Robert, Generations


Concrete suggestions for remedying government and research oversight of LGBT elders.

In December 2015, the White House Conference on Aging released a final report summarizing its decennial gathering, held earlier that year (White House Conference on Aging, 2015). In previous conferences, this report has mapped policy imperatives for the aging and long-termcare sectors.

In this spirit, the 2015 report outlined a variety of public and private sector recommendations, actions, and public input across four areas: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice. Though the numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults is rapidly growing and uniquely affected across all four areas, such elders were mentioned only twice in the report: in an acknowledgement that LGBT elders deserve age-friendly communities, and in a description of an initiative to assess how the aging network can best reach LGBT older people through the Older Americans Act (OAA). The Act funnels significant resources to the aging network nationwide, yet never mentions LGBT elders.

While narrow in scope, this lack of attention embodies how the federal government construes LGBT older people. The notion of age-friendly communities for LGBT people affirms that equity and inclusion are part of an increasingly popular policy aspiration to create accessible, city-wide environments with robust home- and community-based services and supports (World Health Organization, 2007). The OAA initiative speaks to the ongoing charge to document the needs of LGBT elders across a range of physical, economic, and social factors-a national project structurally underfunded in the private and public sectors.

Although researchers and practitioners consistently describe LGBT elders as exhibiting smaller support networks, aging with higher rates of disability and chronic illness, and experiencing discrimination across long-term care, the systems interfacing with LGBT elders rarely designate them in policy reforms or as funding priorities (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2011; National Academy on an Aging Society and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders [SAGE], 2011). Moreover, LGBT elder advocates are asked routinely to substantiate their widespread challenges through rigorous, quantitative research and intensive evaluations to garner government support-despite the dearth in large-scale data, research, and program evaluations on LGBT people, especially in the context of aging.

This dilemma places LGBT aging at an important policy crossroads. The next era of policy change for LGBT elders calls for progress in two broad areas: specifying LGBT older people in the regulations that govern and fund long-term care, housing, and community-based services; and a creating a dedicated project to study and improve data collection on the lives of LGBT older people. Future policy opportunities include mandating LGBT cultural competence throughout the long-term-care system, creating safer and more affordable housing options, expanding nondiscrimination protections nationwide, and funding a broad array of supports and services for LGBT older people.

Early Advocacy in LGBT Aging

In 2000, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force published Outing Age, a landmark publication delineating the general lack of protections for LGBT people in areas such as Medicare, Medicaid, and housing, among others, while positing that LGBT elders suffer the dual consequences of ageism within the LGBT community and heterosexism within the aging and longterm- care sectors, marginalizing this cohort in both spheres (Cahill, South, and Spade, 2000).

In 2010, the Movement Advancement Project and SAGE released Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults, a comprehensive report enumerating more than fifty recommendations across areas such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, visitation, and medical decision-making (MAP and SAGE, 2010). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Protecting and Ensuring the Well-Being of LGBT Older Adults: A Policy Roadmap
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.