Document Type

Article

Publication details

Post-print of: Hughes, M 2009, 'Lesbian and gay people's concerns about ageing and accessing services', Australian Social Work, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 186-201.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03124070902748878

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

There is growing awareness in Australia of the issues faced by lesbian and gay people as they grow older. The present paper examines concerns regarding their health-related ageing; growing older in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; and accessing carers’ and aged care services in later life. It is based on a secondary data analysis of a subsample of 371 lesbians and gays, drawn from a survey of LGBT ageing conducted by the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities. The original survey was primarily quantitative and was delivered online between January 2007 and January 2008. The findings of the present study, based on univariate and bivariate analyses of the subsample, highlight that a majority of lesbians and gays were concerned that their sexuality or gender identity may affect the quality of services received. Many also expected to be discriminated against and were concerned that same-sex relationships would not be recognised and that staff would not be aware of LGBT issues. Among other findings, gay men were more likely than lesbians to be concerned about being alone in later life, whereas lesbians were more likely to be concerned about a lack of LGBT-specific accommodation and lack of recognition of same-sex partners.