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Aging in the LGBTQIA+ community: Challenges and opportunities

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  • There are more than 2.7 million LGBT people over the age of 50 in the US. 
  • This community faces unique challenges. 
  • Here are 4 common problems with aging in the LGBT community. 

Aging in the LGBT community. Learn about the challenges older LGBTQIA+ adults face in the United States.

According SAGE, there are approximately 2.7 million LGBTQIA+ people over the age of 50 in the US.

They are more prone to suffering from economic, social and health problems as a result of the lack of acceptance by authorities and their peers.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face unique challenges that have the potential to affect their quality of life. Find out what they are and how we can advocate for this group.

Aging in the LGBT community: Isolation

challenges of LGBTQIA+ adults

In a survey of LGBTQIA+ adults under 50 in the United States, a good percentage of them stated that they felt “not very happy”.

Those over 65 had a more positive response, something experts attribute to a resilience developed from dealing with oppression and discrimination throughout their lives.

However, they did report feeling isolated. Social isolation can have a variety of impacts.

For example, LGBTQIA+ adults over the age of 65 are more likely to live alone and avoid accessing services, although one of their biggest concerns is dying alone and enduring physical suffering due to medical abuse.

Poverty and economic instability


The LGBTQIA+ community continues to fight for equal rights, which includes access to the same benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy to guarantee their financial stability.

For older adults who are part of this community, poverty and economic instability are two challenges that result, on many occasions, from social inequality.

This due to LGBT people were eligible for many benefits from their same-sex partners that heterosexual couples have access to.

A large number of LGBTQIA+ people over the age of 60 live in poverty. Activists are working to create policies to guarantee the economic well-being of life partners, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lack of healthcare for LGBTQIA+ adults

Old person

With poverty, accessing medical care for diseases such as HIV and access to medical treatment before or after gender transition is made even more difficult for the LGBTQIA+ community.

A survey conducted by SAGE found that for veterans who were discharged under the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, medical care is often poor.

And some official benefits are not available to LGBTQIA+ people.

For older transgender adults, it is practically impossible to access the treatment they require to have a better quality of life.

Mental health

challenges of LGBTQIA+ adults

Economic hardship, fear of abuse and discrimination, lack of health care and lack of financial stability make aging in the LGBT community more difficult.

This can cause mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.

Oder adults often fear openly expressing their sexual orientation for fear that their medical treatment will be affected.

All this leads to greater stress that considerably affects the quality of life of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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