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Lgbtq+ Older Adults Are An Overlooked Minority of The Ageing Population
LGBTQ+ older adults are a very diverse subgroup of the ageing population with diverse needs. Fredriksen-Goldsen estimates that 2.4 million LGBTQ+ older adults aged 50 and over are living in the United States, and projections suggest that the number will at least double by 2030. Fear of discrimination of their biopsychosocial needs are often not met and differ from the majority of the population. LGBTQ + older adults are at risk for occurrence of various diseases due to various factors. Despite the increased risk, they are often overlooked in geriatric nursing, resulting in a lower quality of life. Discrimination, stigma and social isolation are still present and are leading to an increased level of disability, a higher likelihood of chronic conditions and mental distress, and express in reluctance to disclose one's sexual orientation or gender identity. Compared to heterosexuals, LGBTQ+ older adults are less likely to receive informal care because they often live without a partner and have no children. A special role in improving the current situation of LGBTQ+ older adults is in the hands of health professionals, social workers and social gerontologists who must work to avoid heteronormative assumptions. People should be able to fulfil their needs and receive the best possible health and social care when they need it, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors. Each of us can facilitate progress in this matter through awareness and education to increase visibility of this subgroup of older adults in society which is often treated in a subordinated manner.