Because gay men and lesbians have historically been socially defined within medical terms as mentally ill, the health care system has been one of the primary arenas through which control over their lives was exerted.
Best Cities for LGBT Seniors: #4 Atlanta
Members of the LGBT community have to be even more selective. Institutional practices must reflect this understanding through the development of unique programs designed to redress discrimination. Given the current reality, health and social service providers must begin to ask themselves profound questions about how to transform the system to enhance equity. Inall the residential care facilities in and around White Rock were visited by a volunteer from Qmunitythe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer resource centre. First, we must not blame seniors for their lack of visibility in the system. The study examined how key informants from both the gay and lesbian network and the mainstream elder care network understand and talk about need and current responses.
Health care providers must also be able to identify this and other coping mechanisms as signs of resilience and capacity. In recent decades, gay and lesbian communities have spent a lot of energy articulating and responding to the needs of its younger members, but have done much less in an effort to develop services for its senior members. Few services or programs presently exist in Canada for older gays and lesbians, despite the potential benefits they could bring to this profoundly marginal population. One woman told me that she would just like to know that if she ever has to go into a facility, that she can hold hands with her partner in the tv room. However, there are still several limitations to the mixed-group study design. Gay and lesbian elders have learned to cope with discrimination by hiding their sexual orientation. Finally, Atlanta has an overall low cost of living and some of the lowest prices for senior living services of any major American metro area.