Image via Pexels

Aging Resources for LGBTQ Seniors

Aging is a difficult process. It’s expensive, it’s frightening, and it’s often lonely — especially if you’re an LGBTQ senior. If you’re embarking on the aging process or supporting an elder family member, we’ve got some resources covering housing, financial support, and community building to make aging a little bit easier.

Housing and Financial Support

If you’re looking for a respite provider near you or your loved one, whether you’re seeking an assisted living facility, at-home care, or anything in between, visit the ARCH National Respite Network at archrespite.org/caregiver-resources/respitelocator. You can also find assisted living facilities, nursing homes, retirement communities, or other forms of elder housing near you at seniorhomes.com.

Belmont Village is an assisted living and memory care facility in Atlanta that offers LGBTQ-friendly care — the only one in the state listed by assistedliving.com. Belmont Village provides judgment-free inclusive care to all seniors and offers amenities like chef-prepared meals three times a day, nonmedical transportation, and planned group outings and activities. To learn more, visit belmontvillage.com/locations/buckhead-atlanta-georgia. If you’re open to leaving the state, Carefree Cove is a gay and lesbian retirement community in North Carolina’s High Country.

Georgia ranks 22nd in the country for senior living and housing. However, despite being on the cheaper side nationwide, elder care is still very expensive here. The average assisted living cost in Atlanta is $3,717 per month, according to the 2024 Senior Living Report — almost $2,000 higher than the average rent cost. If you or a loved one is struggling financially and not yet interested in or able to enter a nursing home, you can receive financial assistance for medical and nonmedical alternatives to a nursing home placement through the Community Care Services Program. If you’re deemed eligible, you can get financial support to go to services like medically supervised group day programs; state-licensed personal care homes; in-home, 24-hour electronic two-way communication systems for emergencies; home-delivered meals; and more. To be eligible, you must have a functional impairment caused by physical limitations and approval by a physician of the need for an intermediate level of nursing home care and be Medicaid eligible.

To request CCSP services, call 866-552-4464.

If you are an LGBTQ widow or widower, you qualify for state-sponsored financial support via Social Security survivors benefits if you were married for at least nine months at the time of your spouse’s death or you would’ve been if not for unconstitutional state laws preventing you from doing so. Eligibility is also based on how long your partner was employed and your current marital status. To apply, call 1-800-772-1213.

Community and Mental Wellness

Many LGBTQ elders live alone because of a history of family rejection or lack of connection, increasing their risk for social isolation and loneliness, according to a 2023 report from SAGE. If you are experiencing social isolation, you can speak to an empathetic listener through SAGE x HearMe, an app providing a safe and inclusive space to text with someone when you’re feeling lonely, stressed, or anxious. You can learn more about HearMe here.

If you’re in need of in-person connection, you can join the Atlanta Prime Timers, a social club for older gay men. Upcoming events include their weekly morning joe meetup at Brooklyn Bagel in Ansley Mall every Saturday, a lunch and movie outing on June 25, an at-home movie at a member’s house on June 30, bowling on July 7, PALS Bingo at Lips on July 9, and much more. You can learn more about Atlanta Prime Timers here.

If you need help coping with the process of aging, Eldercare is an online group discussion held every third Sunday of the month at 10:30am dedicated to aging, death, retirement, elder care, bereavement, illness, and dying, held by the Drepung Loseling Monastery. Most content is secular in nature, but some resources based on Buddhist spiritual practices may also be included. The next meeting will be on July 21. You can find more information here