Finding the Best Senior Living Community for LGBTQ Older Adults.
In recent years, the country has become more and more accepting of the LGBT community, which directly impacts older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates that there are over three million LGBTQ seniors in the U.S. with that number doubling by 2030.
While LGBTQ retirees still face many challenges, there are a wide variety of LGBT-friendly senior living options across the country. Fortunately, the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender senior housing options is growing. And as the demand rises—and it should—even more LGBT communities will be built.
Below we’ll walk you through some of our top retirement communities and cities for LGBTQ elders.
LGBT Senior Challenges
- Many same-sex partners are denied visitation rights in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
An AARP study found that 61 percent of LGBT Americans ages 45 and over were concerned about experiencing physical or verbal harassment in a long-term care facility.1 Laws from state to state vary widely concerning LGBT people. For example, in Alabama there are no laws to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation when it comes to housing, insurance, and employment.
In some senior living communities, LGBT older adults are openly discriminated against and/or ostracized.
One Journal of Palliative Medicine study found that nearly one in four senior health care providers had witnessed “inadequate, disrespectful, or abusive care” towards LGBT 2patients.[/citation/
- A UCLA study showed that senior gay and lesbian couples have higher rates of poverty than married heterosexual couples do.
Hurdling the Challenges
Changes are happening for the LGBT community, albeit in small increments. According to an article in Aging Today:
- “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a letter informing states of options to more equitably apply rules governing Medicaid liens, transfer of assets and estate recovery for same-sex spouses and domestic partners.”
- New HUD guidelines state that “staff members must ‘treat gender identity discrimination … as gender discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, and instructs HUD staff to inform individuals filing complaints about state and local agencies that have LGBT-inclusive discrimination laws.’ This means people who face gender identity discrimination can now file complaints directly with HUD.”