Federal health officials deem LGBT older people a priority population

Acknowledging that LGBT older people are at particular risk of economic hardship and physical isolation, federal health officials this week took another step to assist this vulnerable group.

The Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that LGBT elders are a priority population under what’s known as a “greatest social need.”

Under programs funded by the Older Americans Act, the Administration on Aging provides communities across the country with money to help the most vulnerable elders. LGBT older people are disproportionately poor and are less likely to have family to take care of them, prompting this latest action.

Being deemed a priority population means that those who receive grants via the Administration on Aging’s aging network should include LGBT populations when deploying resources and services to clients.

This announcement is another positive step taken by HHS to improve the lives of LGBT people, which the Task Force has been advocating for in federal agencies.

The Task Force co-published a report on LGBT older adults in long-term care settings that is helping to drive these critical policy changes. This latest announcement was the direct result of advocacy by our partners SAGE and HRC.