From fear of discrimination to social isolation, seniors in the LGBT community are more likely to face life-changing challenges than other older adults. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Galt Ocean Mile families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
If you have a senior loved one who is part of the LGBT community, you can make a difference in his or her life by taking the time to show your appreciation.
1. Advocate for Better Healthcare Services
Many LGBT seniors do not seek the healthcare services they need because they fear discrimination. One bad experience at a doctor’s office or hospital may prevent your loved one from seeking future medical attention. If your loved one is avoiding much-needed medical care for this reason, offer to help find a new doctor, then accompany your loved one to the visit and speak up on his or her behalf if necessary. If you do experience discrimination, contact the director of the facility or a local group that handles such issues.
2. Include Partners in Events
Another problem LGBT seniors often face is a lack of legal arrangement when it comes to partnerships. They may feel excluded when making important medical decisions for their partners, even if they have been together for decades. If your loved one has a partner, make sure your family treats him or her with respect and includes him or her in important events like holidays and birthdays and in making major life decisions.
3. Encourage Socialization
All seniors are at risk for social isolation, but LGBT seniors more so than practically any other group. Many do not have spouses or children to rely on, or they may feel alienated by family and friends who do not understand or approve of their lifestyles. Let your loved one know you love him or her unconditionally by helping him or her get out into the community to make friends. Look for support groups or organizations specifically for LGBT seniors that might help your loved one meet like-minded people in his or her age group. Encourage your loved one to take up a hobby or find volunteer opportunities that will help him or her make friends and spend more time being social.
For families living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
4. Support LGBT Causes
Many seniors who are a part of the LGBT community aren’t aware of the organizations, protests, marches, and other projects their younger counterparts are participating in. Or perhaps your loved one is aware but is hesitant to support them because he or she grew up in a time when it wasn’t as socially acceptable. Ease your loved one’s fears and show your support and appreciation by accompanying him or her to participate in some form of activism or a project meant to boost the morale of the LGBT community.
5. Lend an Ear
If your loved one is willing to talk about the unique challenges he or she faces, listen. Show your loved one how much you care by listening without judgment. If he or she asks for advice, offer it, but be prepared to not say anything at all. Just knowing one person is always there for them, especially if they do face discrimination, can make life a little easier for LGBT seniors.
Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive 24-hour home care. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. To learn more about our high-quality around-the-clock care, call (954) 909-0370 to speak with a friendly Care Manager.