LGBT Rights for Retirement Community Residents
July 28, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
Some retirement communities are expanding rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults by allowing them to live in the section of a sex-segregated facility they identify with, dismantling gendered clothing restrictions, supporting self-expression, and employing workers who are certified by organizations that provide services for LGBT people, according to a New York Times article published on July 8, 2017. The article describes several retirement communities that have recently opened or are planning to open as LGBT-friendly or exclusive, many labeled as affordable and some federally subsidized. According to the "Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study (NHAS)" special issue of The Gerontologist, about 1.1 million adults age 65 years or older identify as LGBT in the United States, a number that is expected to double by 2060. The New York Times article suggests that retirement communities are slowly attempting to adapt to such population shifts, but many of these communities receive more than 1,000 applications when only 40 to 80 units are available, suggesting higher demand than supply.