Study: Senior Housing the Number One Need for LGBT Seniors

The growing senior population in the United States is facing a variety of concerns as they head into retirement, and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender) community has its own share of worries, especially regarding where they will live, according to The Aging and Health Report which surveyed 2,560 LGBT older adults.

The survey estimates that more than 2 million older adults self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, given the number of adults age 50 or older living in the U.S. and considering that 2% of adults age 50 and older self-identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

“Given the tremendous proportional growth of the age 50 and older population expected in the next two decades, the number of self-identified LGBT older adults will more than double by 2030,” it finds.

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Senior housing was viewed as the top need out of five services and programs identified by the survey’s participants as being the “most needed to meed the needs of LGBT older adults,” at 66%.

This was followed by transportation and social events, each at 62%, support groups, at 55%, and legal services, at 53%.

About half of LGBT older adults also reported assisted living and in-home health services as other needed services.

“The need for services and programs developed for LGBT older adults is critical, as they often have a unique combination of needs,” said the survey. “While they may experience discrimination in mainstream services and programs, they often lack legal protections at the federal, state and local levels.”

As for current living arrangements, 59% percent of those participating in the project own their home or apartment, while another 33% rent, 4% reside in senior housing, 0.4% in an assisted living facility, 0.1% in a skilled nursing facility, and 0.1% are homeless.

View the survey here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace