Older LGB people

Older people face several issues that concern the provision of social services in the UK. Gay people are more likely to live alone when they are older (though this situation may change in time), and are more likely to be without children.

There are also difficulties surrounding access to appropriate care through retirement homes, who may not be equipped or willing to support same sex partners. Many elderly lesbian and gay people are apprehensive about having to go into a nursing home, and possibly back into a situation where they do not disclose their sexual orientation. Concerns also arise regarding appropriate support and care from care workers, who may refuse to recognise extended “families” within the gay community, or may not allow a person to spend “social time” in a gay venue.

Society assumes that LGB people are young and active; it does not occur to society that older people may be gay too. These issues inevitably have an impact on effective delivery of health care. A thorough needs assessment is necessary to establish the exact needs of older gay people.


  • Issues facing Older Lesbians, Gay Men and Bisexuals Age Concern (2002)
  • Opening doors to the needs of older lesbians, gay men and bisexuals Age Concern England  (2002)
  • Lesbian and Gay issues in Residential Care Homes (Blackpool, Fylde, Preston & Wyre) E Brown  (2002)
  • Lesbian, Gay Male, Bisexual and Transgendered Elders: Elder Abuse and Neglect Issues L Cook-Daniels (2002)
  • The diverse older HIV-positive population: A national profile of economic circumstances, social support, and quality of life S Crystal, A Akincigil, U Sambamoorthi,Wenger, N. Fleishman, J, Zingmond, D, Hays, R, Bozzette, S, Shapiro, M (2003)
  • The Housing Needs Of Older Lesbians & Gay Men in the North East C Duckworth, S Botcherby, M Foley (1999)
  • Efficacy of group psychotherapy for homosexual aging males P Gagliesi (2002)
  • Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Lives over 50 B Heaphy, A Yip, D Thompson (2003)
  • Triple jeopardy: Targeting older men of color who have sex with men A Jimenez (2003)
  • Social Care Needs Of Older Gay Men and Lesbians On Merseyside G Kitchen  (2003)
  • The Gay Man's Guide to Growing Older J Lockhart (2002)
  • 'Opening Doors' A Literature Review A Turnbull (2002)

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