LGBT Seniors – Population Surge
The journal The Gerontologist released the largest national survey to date focused on the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT seniors.
The issue, titled “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study (NHAS),” provides cutting edge research, drawing upon the 2014 data from the first national study of more than 2,400 diverse LGBT seniors aged 50 to 100.
Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD, a professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work, served as editor for this journal issue, which contains 10 articles.
“These articles provide the opportunity to consider how social, historical, and environmental contexts influence the health and well-being of LGBT older adults as we move forward in aging-related research, services, and policies — especially if we are to understand the realities of older adulthood across diverse and vulnerable communities.” said Fredriksen-Goldsen. “The insights gleaned from this study of aging among LGBT older adults can deepen our understanding of the richness, diversity, and resilience of lives across the life course.”
Findings in the journal reveal that 2.4 percent of older adults in the U.S. currently self-identify as LGBT, accounting for 2.7 million adults aged 50 and older, including 1.1 million aged 65 and older.
So the population of LGBT Seniors is surging.
Collectively, the articles cut across three major themes: risk and protective factors and life course events associated with health and quality of life among LGBT older adults; heterogeneity and subgroup differences in LGBT health and aging; and processes and mechanisms underlying health and quality of life of LGBT older adults. The authors address the intersection of health and well-being with such topics as race and ethnicity, HIV status, military service, marriage, social networks, and depression.
“LGBT older adults face disparities in health and well-being compared to heterosexual peers, including higher rates of disability, cardiovascular disease, depression and social isolation,” Fredriksen-Golden said. “Discrimination, stigma, and lack of healthcare access is associated with these elevated disparities. It is important to understand that these communities are diverse, and unique groups face distinct challenges to their health.”
It is Not Your Fault – When You Do Everything Right & It’s Wrong
In my caregiving journey, I always tried to make sure I had every T crossed and I dotted. Still, being caregiver to a stubborn Italian mom, a lot of times, in her eyes, I was wrong. It’s takes a lot pf patience and thought before you can actually get to the point where you realize it is not your fault. Listen to my journey. And most of all don’t beat yourself up.
Our Friday Song of the Week – All of Me
Become Your Own Health Advocate
Navigating the health care system is hard enough already. Transitions in care are often worse. In this kind of environment, it is essential that people learn how to advocate for themselves.
The current and anticipated health care environment presents a win-lose proposition to patients. With 20 million people insured under the Affordable Care Act, the health system has been more utilized. People are getting access. That is good. What is not good is that the healthcare system is often not prepared for the influx and the patient experience suffers.
Here are some ways to get started. Become your own health advocate.
Mediterranean Diet May Have Lasting Effects on Brain Health
A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. The study was published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. But contrary to earlier studies, eating more fish and less meat was not related to changes in the brain.
The Mediterranean diet includes large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans and cereal grains such as wheat and rice, moderate amounts of fish, dairy and wine, and limited red meat and poultry.