The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3139.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #43688

Addressing the Needs of LGBT Elders

Jodi Sperber, MSW, MPH, John Snow, Inc., 44 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210, 617-482-9485,

Elders are currently the fastest growing population in the United States. One out of every ten persons is now 60 years or above; by 2050, one out of five will be 60 years or older; and by 2150, one out of three persons will be 60 years or older. Many of these individuals will identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

LGBT elders have many things in common with their non-LGBT peers. However, older LGBT individuals are faced with unique challenges as they age. Identifying issues related to aging that are unique to LGBT persons were central to this qualitative research, conducted in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about the health and social service needs of older LGBT persons in Greater Boston, four focus groups were conducted: three with elder consumers (ranging in age from 55-87), and one with elder service providers involved in various aspects of care. Many aspects of getting older discussed by participants are not unique to the LGBT community, a point emphasized by many of the focus group members. However, numerous challenges were identified that must be addressed to maximize the health, well-being and quality of life for all LGBT persons as they grow older and into old age.

Participants discussed the benefits of being older, as well as the difficulties they experienced. This session will detail some of the findings from this important research, including the suggestions offered by all participants to make the health and social service system more welcome for all elders.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this session, participants will have the ability to

    Keywords: Gay, Elderly

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    Health-Related Concerns of Aging Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Persons

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA