#ElderCareChat 6/20/12 Recap: LGBT Elders & Caregiving

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 22 June 2012

PLEASE NOTE: Our next chat will be Wednesday, July 18th at 1p.m. ET. We will not meet on the first Wednesday as normally planned due to the July 4th holiday.

No matter how progressive our technology, philosophies, and lifestyles have become, discrimination is still a very real challenge for many people in today’s world. For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) elders, the fear of rejection even years after coming out and unfair prejudices (some medical professionals will not serve those in the LGBT community) are issues that keep many of these individuals from getting the care and services they truly need.

That’s what 61 #ElderCareChat participants discussed on Wednesday, in a conversation led by co-founder and co-moderator Denise Brown (@caregiving). Denise’s tweet of our first ground rule, “We enjoy spirited discussions with an emphasis on respect and understanding” certainly laid the foundation for a conversation that could have led to some controversial points. Yet the hour flew by as it always does, and in our group’s typical MO, attendees were respectful of the diverse opinions and experiences shared. (Rarely do participants leave the chat without having learned something new from a fellow group member!)

The following questions framed the hour-long conversation:

Q1. LGBT seniors are twice as likely to live alone than heterosexual older adults. What problems can arise because of this?
Q2. A recent study found that 21% of LGBT seniors don’t disclose their sexual identity to doctors. How can we change this?
Q3. What issues might a LGBT family caregiver face while their partner/caree is hospitalized?
Q4. For the LGBT family caregiver who also works, what additional stresses might he or she face?
Q5. What worries might a LGBT family caregiver have when looking for services and help?
Q6. What programs/services would best help the LGBT senior?
Q7. What programs/services would best help the LGBT family caregiver?
Q8. As professionals, how can we be sensitive to the needs of LGBT family caregivers?
Q9. What resources are available to help?

Review these highlights:

For more insights, check out the full transcript (thanks to The Fox Group’s “Healthcare Hashtag Project”); click here to review and share it. Get an attendance record and other stats via these #ElderCareChat analytics.

Anyone who is interested in/passionate about eldercare issues can join our chat anytime. Prior participation is not required, nor is there a need to stay for the full hour. If the “real-time” frame doesn’t sync with your schedule, or if you feel that your question or idea requires well beyond 140 characters, start a discussion thread on our LinkedIn page or use the #eldercarechat hashtag. The LinkedIn group is also a great place to get to know other participants better, continue previous discussions, or to connect with professionals and family caregivers who share similar interests.

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!


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