LGBTQ+ older adults came of age at a time when their sexuality or gender identity could get them arrested or fired. They’ve lived through years in which discrimination based on their perceived identity or sexuality was condoned and even encouraged by law, policy and cultural norms. LGBTQ+ older adults are twice as likely to live alone, making them vulnerable to social isolation. Older adults living with HIV also face high rates of isolation. They are more likely to face poverty and homelessness, and to have poor physical and mental health.
Bias and discrimination can also make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ older adults to find housing that is safe, affordable, and conducive to aging well. We partnered with with SAGE to submit a comment letter underscoring the need for regulations for programs under the Older Americans Act that ensure LGBTQ+ older adults can age with dignity in their homes.
As the comment notes, the admin has a critical opportunity to update these regulations so that federally funded services better target older LGBTQ+ adults & adults w/ HIV/AIDS. They must seize the opportunity to do so. Read the full letter here.