New Report on Philadelphia’s aging LGBT population

Posted on October 04, 2010

Needs of elder LGBT people assessed in survey

The needs of Philadelphia-area lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual people over the age of 55, were documented in a study conducted by the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund.

The mean age of the 330 respondents to the survey was 63, and 5.1 percent reported that their only source of income is the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI).

A report published by MetLife, Still Out, Still Aging, noted that the LGBT baby boomer generation “advanced the US.gay rights movement and within one generation succeeded in changing social attitudes from seeing homosexuality as a psychiatric condition to winning same-sex marriage rights and acknowledgement of their civil rights in an increasing number of states.”  But it also noted that “Many unanswered questions emerge as this cohort ages into retirement and beyond and its ability to change the face of aging as much as it has changed attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

http://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/2010/mmi-still-out-still-aging.pdf

Major areas of concern identified through the survey included physical health, housing, and behavioral health services.  Other areas mentioned were socialization, networking, and social services.

About 90 percent reported that they regularly see a doctor, but less than 20 percent felt that existing senior services were “LGBT-friendly.”  Most reported that they would turn to a partner or friend at a time of crisis, with a small number mentioning relatives.

In terms of housing, most respondents said that their primary concerns related to affordability and location rather than sensitivity to LGBT issues.

To download a brief overview of the major results of the survey, go here.


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