Caregiving for an elderly, frail person is an intimate experience, a loving act—a gem of human kindness. In this country, the greatest numbers of these caregivers are volunteers, usually family members and friends, but for LGBT elders and their caregivers, there is a noticeable twist to the experience.
We’ve chosen to highlight several facets of this experience through the following posts.
We, (those of us older than 50) are now finding out what Bette Davis knew, that “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Those of us who are also lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) may have additional challenges including homophobia and heteronormativity, which can send us running back to the very closets we fought so hard to leave, according to Stein and colleagues in a 2010 article in the Journal of Gerontology Social Work.
LGBT elders face the same challenges of living alone these days, as do their heterosexual counterparts, but with additional barriers. For instance, while heterosexual elders may find it hard to live alone, a majority of them have adult children available to them, even if they live some miles away. The great majority of LGBT elders do not have adult children to look out for them.
I know what you might be thinking. Why is ASA blogging about National Dog Day, a day that serves to raise awareness about the number of dogs in need of homes? Well, dogs, and pets in general, often play an important role in the well-being of older adults. Watch this touching video for just one example.
It makes perfect sense for entrepreneurs, opportunists, capitalists, risk-takers and visionaries to enter the aging-services field. While traditional providers wait for the economy to recover and consumer demand to return, these disruptive agents are plotting to take over—salivating over the 78-million strong baby boomer demographic.
The tragic death of Robin Williams has left the country, and the world, in a state of shock and mourning.The actor and comedian will be remembered for his roles in countless movies and his unparalleled ability to make audiences laugh and cry in equal proportions. But as we grieve his passing, it is also important to remember that Williams was not alone in his struggles with depression and substance abuse.
As the leaders of tomorrow, the students of today will have to address to challenges brought on by the growing and diverse population of older Americans. They must also be prepared to take advantage of the many opportunities that come with an aging population.