TIME: 1.5-3 hours
Many LGBTQ older adults are extremely vulnerable as they age and may return to “the closet” after years of living authentically, for fear of being mistreated by health and aging care professionals. Having lived in a time when LGBTQ people faced involuntary electroshock therapy, arrests for “sexual deviance” and being diagnosed with a mental illness simply for being themselves, the LGBTQ older adult community can experience heightened anxiety and distrust around health and aging care services. Unfortunately, LGBTQ older adults are also less likely than their straight/cisgender counterparts to have children or other nuclear family members to support their wellbeing as they age. This interactive and educational presentation will provide information about the risks and realities of LGBTQ older adults, as well as strategies for working toward inclusiveness, where LGBTQ older adults are able to acknowledge their life experiences and age with dignity and respect.