Elderly LGBT individuals prone to nursing home neglect

The elderly are some of the most vulnerable residents in Philadelphia. When an elderly individual is unable to care for themselves any loner, it is important that family trust that the individual will be cared for when placed in a facility. Further, it is important that the elderly individual is comfortable and feels safe.

Unfortunately, elderly individuals do not always feel safe and the trust that families place in nursing homes is sometimes broken. Nursing home neglect and abuse is a horrible reality for some. There are a group of elderly individuals in particular that can be vulnerable to this treatment, LGBT seniors. Some LGBT seniors that live in nursing homes report that they face discrimination at a higher rate by staff members. This discrimination typically manifests itself in the form of abuse, neglect or isolation from other residents.

If a family is aware of an instance in which another family member is being treated in a similar manner, whether or not the elder is an LGBT individual, the family can pursue a nursing home negligence case in an effort to hold negligent parties accountable and remove the elderly individual from that environment.

According to the director for Seniors and Advocacy for LGBT Elders, “Many LGBT older people feel that they must hide their sexual identities if they move to a retirement home, and LGBT elders often face discrimination from aging care providers in places where they are most vulnerable, such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes.”

By 2030, the number of LGBT adults more than 65 years old will reach over four million. Accordingly, advocacy groups are diligently working on providing housing for elderly LGBT individuals. Affordable housing is particularly critical for low income individuals that are LGBT because these individuals are most likely to be single, without children or blood relations that can offer support. While this may prove a viable solution in the future, a current method through which families can combat this is by pursuing a nursing home negligence case.

Source: Reuters, “Breaking ground on housing for LGBT seniors,” Mark Miller, Nov. 8, 2012

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