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June 19, 2022


How Senior Living Can Help LGBT Seniors Overcome Aging Challenges

It’s Pride Month, and we embrace the opportunity to bring awareness to the LGBTQ+ community, specifically seniors. So often, it’s younger generations we picture, but there are actually more than 3 million LGBTQ+adults over the age of 50 living in the United States, according to SAGE, an LGBTQ+ elder advocacy organization and the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+Aging. And that number is expected to grow to around 7 million by 2030. But LGBTQ+ seniors face unique challenges as they age. Here’s how senior living communities, like those of GenCare throughout Western Washington, can help.

The Facts on LGBTQ+ Seniors

While we still have a long way to go regarding equality, most LGTBQ+ seniors came of age at a time when widespread discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was condoned and even encouraged through cultural norms and policies, and laws. As such, many fear reaching out for help as they age. SAGE and the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging report:

  • Many LGBTQ+ people have reported delaying or avoiding necessary medical care because they fear discrimination or mistreatment by healthcare staff.
  • 88 percent of LGBTQ+ seniors say they would feel more comfortablewith long-term care services if they knew staff had been specifically trained about the needs of LGBTQ+ patients. More than two thirds say this would make them feel much more comfortable.
  • Research has repeatedly shown that LGBTQ+ people have higher rates of poor physical health and mental distress.
  • 59 percent of LGBTQ+ seniors report feeling a lack of companionship and 53 percent report feeling isolated from others.
  • LGBTQ+ seniors are two times as likely to be single and live alone

LGBTQ+ Seniors Are Welcome at GenCare

GenCare senior living communities are proud to welcome people of all sexual orientations, cultures, races, and other aspects of identity. We strive to create a safe and healthy space for all through our signature Whole Life Living program. It’s a personalized, holistic approach to wellness that takes our belief that a healthier life is a happier life and puts it into action through four facets:

  • Eat better - Healthy, fresh, and made-from scratch meals including gluten-free, vegetarian, and diabetic options.
  • Feel better - Complimentary on-site certified personal trainer and fitness center.
  • Think better - Stay Sharp lifelong learning programs.
  • Live better - Regular opportunities to pursue purpose.

And it’s all grounded in a socially connected environment down to the design of each community. What’s more, we incorporate considerations for LGBTQ+ seniors in training new staff, especially caregivers.We also recognize that LGBTQ+ seniors may face spiritual and religious discrimination; therefore, we facilitate numerous religious offers that are inclusive and non-denominational.

Many of our senior living communities are participating in Pride events this month, and we’d love for you to join us! Contact a senior living community near you to learn more.

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