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LGBT - Caregivers

Among LGBT elders, many singles and couples are estranged from their families of birth, normally the largest source of support when long-term care is needed. Many in the LGBT community are reliant on “families of choice” for their support. As defined by the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, these are diverse family structures that:

  • Are usually created by LGBT people, immigrants, and racial or ethnic minorities
  • Include but are not limited to, life partners, close friends, and other loved ones not biologically related or legally recognized
  • Are the source of social and caregiving support
  • Provided a tremendous amount of support to gay men during the early years of the AIDS epidemic
  • Tend to be from the same age cohort
    • For the aging LGBT population, this may mean that many in their families of choice are also in need of support and services and therefore may not be available to provide the level of support needed.

A major question often faced by those needing long-term care is “Do you have family members who will provide care?” Whether you have a family of choice, family of origin, or both to assist you in the event you need long term supports and services, plan ahead with your ‘family’ now and begin to talk with your loved ones to develop a plan of care.