New report examines readiness of agencies to meet the needs of LGBT older adults
Ready to Serve? The Aging Network and Older LGB and T People, is a just released national report that provides a snapshot of the National Aging Network’s readiness for meeting the specific needs of the growing numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults in this country.
The national study was conducted in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging (MAAA), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), PFund Foundation, and the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (U of MN CEHD).
The report presents findings from a nationwide survey of Area Agencies on Aging on its current work with LGBT older adults. It provides a more detailed picture of aging providers’ experiences and capacities to serve LGBT elders.
The study captured responses from 320 agencies nationwide, based in 45 states and every region of the country. Some of the report’s key findings include:
- More than a third of agencies had offered or funded some type of LGBT aging training to staff, and four out of five agencies were willing to offer training in the future.
- Very few agencies offered LGBT-specific programs or outreach, and less than half of the agencies reported they would be able to offer or fund LGBT-specific services.
- While a majority of agencies believed LGBT older adults would be welcomed by local aging service providers, only 31% of agencies had received a recent request to help a lesbian, gay or bisexual person, and only 19% had received a request to help a transgender person.
Laurie Young, director of public policy and government affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force stated:
This survey provides necessary information about how the aging network can best respond to the needs of LGBT aging people. We know that aging brings many challenges for LGBT adults, especially those who grew up during periods of great threat to personal safety due to the medicalization of sexual orientation and gender identity. The fear of reaching out for services has often prevented our older community members from receiving critical support and services as they age, increasing isolation. Resources like this will be helpful.
For more information on Ready to Serve? The Aging Network and Older LGB and T People, visit http://www.sageusa.org/about/news_item.cfm?news=245.
To download the report, visit https://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/release_materials/tf_readytoserve.pdf.