Worries about potential neglect, abuse, access to services and harassment in assisted living communities and other long-term care settings are common among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, according to survey results released Monday by AARP.
Findings in “Maintaining Dignity: Insights on Concerns and Preferences of Mid-Life and Older LGBT Adults” reflect the responses of 1,762 LGBT Americans aged 45 or more years who participated in an online survey conducted Oct. 27 to Nov. 12 by the advocacy organization.
Participants were asked about the concerns they would have “if you or your spouse/partner ever needed long-term care, such as in-home assistance, assisted living or nursing home care.”
Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they would be very or somewhat concerned about neglect, 62% cited abuse concerns, 61% relayed fears of physical harassment, 61% wondered whether they would be refused access to services or face limited access, and 52% thought they might not be able to be out or would be forced to hide or deny their identity.
The survey also found high demand among respondents for long-term care providers who actively welcome the LGBT community and demonstrate awareness and knowledge of the specific needs of LGBT adults as they age, according to AARP. More than 80% of survey respondents said they would feel more comfortable with providers who are specifically trained in LGBT patient needs (88%), use advertising to highlight LGBT-friendly services (86%), have some staff members who are LGBT themselves (85%) or display LGBT-welcoming signs or symbols in their facilities and online (82%).