Healthwise, the LGBTQ+ senior has likely faced barriers to accessing healthcare services. This leaves them with a more challenging healthcare history than many of their older adult counterparts. This includes chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Additionally, the gay male community was disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There are LGBTQ+ seniors who have been managing HIV + for decades through the use of anti-viral medication. These medications have evolved over time. Many of the early medications caused long-term side effects. Additionally, the use of hormones by members of the transgender community has lingering health side effects that are being discovered.
The question then becomes how can we best serve the LGBTQ+ client as a home care provider, and it is addressed before our clinicians care for any LGBTQ+ clients. LGBTQ+ people realize they are likely to face discrimination and homophobia, so they do their research and are savvy consumers.
Care Assist Inc. is an organization that takes the time to align with the values of each community we serve and learn about its needs, with the goal of bridging the gaps and pitfalls in the care continuum. And part of the proactive measures we take to ensure the delivery of LGBTQ+ inclusive care for the aging population is to reach out to the communities we serve.