For the estimated 3 million LGBTQ Americans age 50 and older, the past five decades have brought triumphs that were once unimaginable, from the birth of the Pride movement to marriage equality.
But now the so-called Stonewall generation — those who came of age around the 1969 uprising that galvanized the modern gay rights movement — faces a new set of challenges when it comes to aging with dignity.
According to AARP’s “2018 Maintaining Dignity Survey(www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2018/maintaining-dignity-lgbt.html),” 76 percent of LGBTQ adults age 45 and over worry about having adequate family and social support systems to fall back on as they grow older — and the majority worry about abuse, neglect and harassment in long-term care settings like assisted living or nursing home care.
Prepare to Care:
A Guide for LGBTQ Caregivers
If your loved one identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBTQ), you will probably face extra challenges around caregiving. LGBTQ older adults are twice as likely to be single and four times less likely to have children than their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Many are estranged from their biological families, which means they’re less likely to have the traditional caregiver support that many older adults rely on.
Many people have the option of relying on in-home care from a friend, family member, or loved one. AARP understands that caregiving can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences a person can undertake. In collaboration with SAGE, we have created Prepare to Care: A guide for LGBTQ Caregivers (www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/home-and-family/caregiving/2017/05/prepare-to-care-guide-lgbt-aarp.pdf). The role of caregiver might be one of the most significant opportunities you have to be responsible for the health and well-being of another person. More information can be found at www.aarp.org/pride.
The Prepare to Care Guide is a practical tool created to help you. Here you’ll find information, resources, and checklists to help you get organized and find the support that you might need.
The Guide offers simple and practical tips to aid you in the discussion about caregiving. In addition, there are resources included to help you get the support you need as you embark on this journey.
As a caregiver, we realize that you will probably need someone to talk to, or might even want to belong to a group of caregivers. We invite you to learn more at AARP Community Connections (aarpcommunityconnections.org/). This network is designed to help you find a group or start a group that can help you on your caregiving journey. You can also check out what’s available online by going to www.aarp.org/caregiving.