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What Are the Biggest Issues LGBT Elders Face?

Millions of seniors belong to the LGBT community, and over time the community will continue to grow and become more visible. Despite this, there are still a few obstacles related to health care many LGBT seniors face on a regular basis. Professional caregivers in Redondo Beach discuss some of these common issues.

Refusal of Care 

Many LGBT seniors have been refused health care over the years. LGBT senior veterans have an extremely difficult time accessing care through VA systems due to discrimination, especially transgender seniors. Refusal of care can also come from nursing homes, retirement facilities, and home care agencies. LGBT seniors who are approved often receive poor or less than equal care. If your elderly loved one needs in-home care in Redondo Beach, it’s important those who provide the care are sensitive to his or her lifestyle and individual care needs.

Abuse and Harassment 

In addition to being refused care, many LGBT seniors are attacked or subjected to harassment in medical settings. This abuse can come from many sources, including medical professionals, staff, patients, and protesters. This sometimes causes LGBT seniors to become isolated and keep their sexual preferences a secret, which can lead to depression, stress, and serious medical issues. The abuse LGBT seniors face is not only physical, but it can be emotional and financial as well.

Insufficient Health Insurance 

Seniors in the LGBT community have the lowest rates of health insurance coverage, which results in delays in seeking health care. This is often due to marriage inequality, but laws continue to change each year. Medicare, the VA, private insurance companies, and Medicaid do not generally cover transgender health, especially surgery. The prequalification process for a transgender person of any age is rigorous, and insurance usually requires covered surgeries for seniors to be for medical reasons only. Without health insurance, the cost of reassignment surgery is expensive, which can be especially problematic for seniors living on a fixed income.

Fear of Discrimination

Many seniors are afraid to disclose their sexual preferences for fear of being discriminated against. This includes fear of how their family, friends, health care providers, and community organizations might react to their lifestyles. For instance, a large majority of transgender seniors do not opt for surgery because they fear the opposition they might be faced with. Encourage your loved one to live the life he or she was born to live, regardless of how others feel. Letting go of this fear could enhance his or her quality of life.

A senior’s basic care needs are the same no matter what his or her orientation. The only thing that matters is ensuring your loved one’s individual needs are addressed. At Home Care Assistance, we can provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise and meal prep, and help with a wide variety of daily tasks that can become more challenging in the senior years. We offer live-in and part-time care Redondo Beach seniors and their families can count on, and we also offer specialized care for seniors with Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. To learn more and to request a free consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers, call (310) 504-0506 today.