LGBT Older Adults Face Challenges Like Discrimination and Isolation

On The Sound of Ideas, we discuss the challenges facing LGBT older adults including isolation and discrimination. [Hector Roqueta/shutterstock]
On The Sound of Ideas, we discuss the challenges facing LGBT older adults including isolation and discrimination. [Hector Roqueta/shutterstock]
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It's mid-June. That means it's mid-pride month for the LGBTQ plus community. But while there have been many positive strides in recent years for this community in terms of representation in the media, government and increased allyship, there are still plenty of challenges for those who are out, especially for older adults. 

According to the national advocacy organization SAGE, older adults in the LGBT community are less likely than their heterosexual peers to reach out to health care providers, senior centers, meal and other entitlement programs, because they fear discrimination and harrassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT people are also twice as likely to age alone and four times less likely to have children to help take care of them as they age. 

According to a National LGBT Health Education Center report, rates of depression are more than twice as high among LGBT older adults, compared to older adults in general. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of the issues seniors faced, as many struggled with isolation. Adult day care centers closed, and people had trouble accessing virtual events. 

To start The Sound of Ideas, we'll talk to community partners who will lay out this issue in greater detail, and will discuss resources available to support this aging population. 

Later in the hour, we'll look ahead to some Juneteenth celebrations happening around the city this weekend.

 

Resources

LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging

Guests: 

- Mary Beth Bartholomew, SAGE Program Activities Coordinator, LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
- Tamar Cooper, Director, Behavioral Health Services, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
- Doug Braun, Behavioral Health Clinical Social Worker, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging & Member, LGBTQ Community
- Treva Offutt, Actor and Choreographer, "Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed" 
- Carrie Wise, Managing Producer of Arts and Culture, Ideastream Public Media 

Ohio Channel On-Demand Video

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