Well-Being and Health Considerations for the Aging Lesbian Community: Understanding Age Cohorts, Partnerships, Caregiving and Other Unique Needs
Pp. 226-252 (27)
Michael P. Dentato, Shelley L. Craig and Lauren B. McInroy
Effectively exploring the well-being, health and mental health needs of the
aging lesbian community can often be difficult and multi-leveled, while insuring a
competent and comprehensive assessment of needs. A limited amount of research has
specifically attended to the lives and unique experiences of aging lesbians, along with
those of the larger LGBT community, therefore such matters remain poorly understood.
Regardless, insuring any dialogue surrounding the needs of older lesbians must
underscore their resilience - which for many has included becoming actively engaged
as advocates for visibility and change - especially during the late 1960s and Stonewall
Inn revolution, as well as the early 1980s and beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic -
despite ongoing discrimination and prejudice. This chapter examines some of the
background statistics on the older lesbian population, exploring lifespan and
developmental topics including: coming out; relationships and marriage; parenting; and
age cohort differences along with caregiving, death and dying, and risk/protective
factors related to sex and sexuality. The chapter concludes with implications for social
workers, counselors, and others health practitioners, focusing on affirming approaches
and models of practice.
Aging, Caregivers, Lesbians, LGBT community.
School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60660,60611, United States