Aging brings about major life changes for people from all demographics and backgrounds, but the LGBTQ+ community faces additional challenges in this chapter of life. Did you know that a gay bachelor (sometimes known as “gay and grey”) or lesbian is twice as likely to be single and live alone in retirement? Additionally, our gay neighbors and family members are 4x less likely to have children.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ seniors can experience isolation and feel like they are cut off from the rest of the community. Every person should have a safe place to call home, where they have ongoing support from friends, care providers, and more.
Gay seniors are doing their best to handle social stigmas while also dealing with common health issues and often looking for home care for seniors or independent living for seniors at the same time. One notable trend in the LGBTQ+ community is seniors helping seniors. When individuals don’t have a family for support, they often turn to their friends, neighbors, and other LGBTQ+ connections. Often referred to as a Family of Choice, this loving community is there to nurture and support you just as you are.
Transgendered seniors face acute challenges and experience numerous inequities in health care access, mental health, safety, employment and Senior Care. Finding home care for seniors or independent living for seniors that embraces the LGBTQ+ community and is culturally fluent in providing trans competent care is so important. Seniors need to feel safe and confidently know that they will receive the support they need from their care providers and extended community. Advocates such as Marsha Botzer and organizations such as Ingersoll Gender Center provide valuable resources for addressing these issues.
Gay Chat: Pride Events Near Me & Beyond
June is filled with social media pride month quotes and people searching for “pride events near me.” While it’s fun and important to show solidarity by donning a pride t-shirt and marching with the group, Pride Month is also a reminder about how much the LGBTQ+ community needs helping hands in the later years of life.
Pride month starts on June 1st each year and continues through the entire month. Many cities have gay pride parades, festivals, and educational opportunities to strengthen the community and provide resources for LGBTQ+ members of our society. Activists and family members take a proactive approach to sharing their love and support while also spreading information and education to others who might not yet understand the gay community and what gay means. The definition for gay can be communicated to help people understand the basics. Long-time members of the LGBTQ+ community welcome newbies and people from all backgrounds to learn more about Pride and how everyone can be involved to help each other.
Independent Living for Seniors
Every gay older man, older lesbian, or queer senior wants to maintain as much independence as possible. When the time to look for home care for seniors arises or if you are considering independent living for seniors, it’s important to look for options that embrace your lifestyle.
Look for a retirement community that is open and accepting of residents of all orientations and believes in family of choice. It’s a good sign when you walk in and see people flying pride or lesbian flags in their windows. Your family will be happy to be around other like-minded people when coming to visit a gay grandpa or grandma in the community. A family of choice might “adopt” a gay grandpa, offering companionship and regular visits for people who don’t have family or friends in the area.
These LGBTQ+ retirement communities aren’t only for rich actors who are gay, NFL gay players, or celebrities who are gay. Anyone can have access to these welcoming communities. And depending on retirement needs, look into support programs such as low-income housing for seniors with staff members who are LGBTQ+ friendly.
How to Support a Gay Senior
Gay or lesbian love shouldn’t change the housing opportunities or access to home care for seniors. Regardless of a person’s background or orientation, they deserve to live their best life at all times – especially in the golden years.
Here are a few things you can do to reach out and show support for a gay senior in your life:
Share the LGBTQ+ National Senior hotline, where seniors can call to talk about a variety of issues, such as sexual identities, living condition issues, relationship concerns, isolation, suicide, community involvement, and more. The LGBTQ+ aging center is another excellent resource.
Search for senior activities near me and pride events near me to take the person out for day trips.
If the senior is lonely and looking for a relationship, help them find a dating site for seniors or LGBTQ+ senior singles activities in the area.
Show your support by flying a gay men flag or the pride colors in the window.
Do something special on important dates, such as bringing a gift for holidays or wishing Happy Birthday to gay family and friends.
Offer a listening ear to understand each person’s perspective. There are unique and new insights from the journey each LGBTQ+ individual has traveled as well as from herstory, history considered or presented from a feminist viewpoint or with special attention to the experience of women.
Gay seniors are redefining what it means to be gay in the 21st century and embracing their identity. Tiktok and Instagram stars such as The Old Gays (@TheOldGays) and have been featured on the Today Show and are LGBTQ+ rights activists. They create inspirational and biographical videos sharing their life stories with an entirely new generation and their impressive 7.1 million followers on TikTok. Although there are not many “old lesbian” TikTok stars yet, we hope that all gay seniors can be inspired by these highly popular and inspirational senior men who share their stories throughout the most technologically progressive century in history. What stories do your favorite “old gays” have to share about their own lives? How can you help them capture and preserve those memories for generations to come?
LGBTQ+ Friendly Independent Living for Seniors
If you are looking for independent living for seniors who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, Cadence Living is here to help. We celebrate you and your family and believe family of choice is important for all seniors. At Cadence Living, we reinforce cultural fluency at all corners and have a Diversity Advisory Council that works to increase diversity within all our communities. We support and celebrate all Families of Choice.
Learn about Cadence’s available services, including independent living for seniors, memory care, assisted living, Cadence CONNECTIONS care, and more. Our full-service approach encompasses both physical and social activities, so every resident enjoys a thriving life. Call today when you are ready to talk to a caregiving expert and book a tour in one of our convenient communities.