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Elderly LGBT People Have Special Health Needs

Photo courtesy of SAGE.

Special intervention and prevention strategies should be developed to help elderly LGBT people, according to a study from the University of Washington School of Social Work.

According to this article in, elderly LGBT individuals are more prone to suffer from depression, disabilities and loneliness than heterosexuals of the same age group. They are also more likely to binge drink and smoke.

National Association of Social Workers member and University of Washington professor Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, DSW, ACSW, led the study. Researchers surveyed 2,560 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people aged 50-95 across the nation. The population of this group is expected to double to more than 4 million by 2030.

“The higher rates of aging and health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults is a major concern for public health,” Fredriksen-Goldsen said.

Fredriksen-Goldsen presented some of the study’s findings on Nov. 9 at a Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Social workers are committed to equal treatment for all, including LGBT individuals. To learn more visit NASW’s Diversity and Equity Web page by clicking here. Social workers also advocate for better healthcare for the elderly. To learn more visit NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Seniors & Aging Website by clicking here.


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