Where Do We Belong: Aging Concerns for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Seniors

By Julius Okpodi.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The world is aging and many researchers and practitioners have become interested in the aged, the aging process, and the concerns of seniors. However, there is a heterosexual assumption in all these studies that neglects to consider the identity and belongingness of the homosexual senior population. LGBT seniors share with all seniors the same goal of living with comfort and dignity in their end stages of life. As they face changes in health, abilities, and social circumstances; their needs for quality social and healthcare services, community and institutional care, and senior housing will grow. Using a theoretical framework, qualitative interviews and questionnaires are developed to collect data and probe these deficits, which are interpreted through the lens of hermeneutic phenomenology. The result shows a gradient of similarity as most participants want affirming and non-judgmental retirement homes with skilled caregivers who are trained on cultural competence and have knowledge on LGBT aging-specific needs, issues, challenges, and activities/ events. These findings bring new insights to the management and restructuring of existent retirement homes in Northern British Columbia, Canada, prompting them to be more culturally sensitive to the needs and demands of LGBT seniors seeking retirement homes.

Keywords: LGBT Seniors, LGBT Housing, Hermeneutic Phenomenology, Non-judgmental Retirement Home, Bed Blocking, Recreation and Wellness Home, Two-spirited Homes

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 558.766KB).

Julius Okpodi

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada