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LGBTQ Seniors Aging Services Crisis

By Charlotte Robinson, December 12, 2019
A new report reveals that LGBTQ seniors face critical challenges when accessing aging services. This groundbreaking new report by the University of California, San Francisco found that 20 percent of LGBTQ seniors in San Francisco don’t use aging services because they feel unsafe or unwelcome & many participants experienced poor quality care including long waits, discrimination from service providers, homophobia, transphobia, racism & a lack of specialist HIV care. Jason Flatt, PhD, MPH at UCSF stated, “In many respects, LGBTQ seniors in San Francisco face an uphill battle when it comes to accessing many vital services. These include choosing lower quality services to accommodate fixed incomes, experiencing discrimination, having unique emotional & social barriers & surviving trauma associated with either being victimized & or living through the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These new findings provide a strong rationale for a one-stop shop program that integrates case management, LGBTQ-identifying staff, use of trauma care approaches & social activities/programs that reflect the diverse interests & backgrounds of the LGBTQ community. Many seniors aren’t accessing necessary support because services are simply not inclusive, affordable & customizable to meet their broader needs. We’ve heard first-hand from seniors & their caregivers that their deep desire is to access critical services & thoughtfully designed programs. They want a nondiscriminatory welcoming environment that’s created with their unique set of needs in mind.” San Francisco-based nonprofits On Lok & Openhouse are looking to tackle these issues head-on with their new Community Day Services (CDS) program. It’s estimated by 2030 that nearly 1 out of 3 San Francisco residents will be age 60 or older. More than 12 percent of older San Francisco residents around 20,000 identify as LGBTQ.
For More Info: openhouse-sf.org
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