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Knowledge is power

From The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

The baby boomers are coming, the baby boomers are coming.“ For years now everyone’s been hearing the warnings about the anticipated crisis in elder care . If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), the challenge is complicated due to widespread homophobia, trans-phobia, racial injustice and economic inequality. Right now estimates say there are 1.5 million LGBT elders in the United States, and by 2030 that number will nearly double to 3 million LGBT people 65 and older.

It’s only been in the last few years that people have started to do research into the needs and life experience of older LGBT people and their families. To further complicate the issue, older LGBT people increasingly face aging with HIV/AIDS as the first generation of survivors to navigate the impact of HIV on aging. At the Task Force, we’ve seen this crisis approaching and we’re dealing with it.

Why It Matters:

Often LGBT older people don’t have access to adequate health care, affordable housing and other social services they need. This can be the result of institutionalized heterosexism, racism, ageism and/or transphobia. But for whatever reason, what it means is that many LGBT older adults—especially people of color—have reduced incomes, and they often avoid the very care providers they need to remain healthy and independent due to perceived or real discrimination when seeking services. The Task Force is educating mainstream providers and key policy makers about the needs of LGBT older people and their families as they age and how to meet those needs in a respectful and dignified manner.

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