Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homophobia in Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care, Assisted Living, and Home Care (LGBT Video 4:01 mins.)

Life can be horrendous living in a community where you are excluded and harassed. This is the experience of many elderly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people living in nursing homes, long-term care, assisted living, and even those receiving home care from healthcare workers. Consider how you would feel being dependent daily on bigoted caregivers who resent your presence. Imagine being isolated socially by fellow residents regularly or only being included because you hide a major part of your identity. Either way, damage to your emotional and physical health can be devastating.

The “Michigan Daily” reports that LGBT elderly increasingly have been “disrespected, shunned, or mistreated in ways that range from hurtful to deadly, even leading some to commit suicide.” Important solutions to this problem include a national drive to train long-term care providers in equitable and compassionate care, and a move for separate, but equal care.

Implementation of culture change in senior institutions requires sensitivity and commitment to the creation of person-centered environments that welcome LGBT residents. As this award-winning LGBT documentary titled  “Gen Silent” explains so well, no one should have to live in fear in order to survive. What kind of quality of life is that?

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. Thank you for this video. We need to be more sensitive and not pretend that this is not an issue.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this. It will be a useful argument in our hunt for financing and will contribute to getting the word out on this ignored horror.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, yes, it is a very sensitive issue and yet, we need more awareness that this is really happening.

  4. The world appreciates useful information like this. Thank you. I could not imagine us being shunned to become aware of the horrifying reality happening to some of our elderly. Yes, this is the reality that some of us doesn’t even aware it exists and some that are trying to cover as they think that this is less important than anything else. Being a human being, we all have our rights to be accepted for whatever we are or we become. We must stand for the commitment and the creation of person-centered environments that supports LGBT residents. And Yes, I agree with you, no one should have to live in fear in order to survive.


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  5. This is a very real, relevant issue and it is refreshing to see you confront and share this. Nurses and other personnel that work with the elderly would benefit from education on the issue as well as a non judgemental attitude. I am happy to say my nursing program successfully integrates issues like this into our curriculum.

  6. In my opinion as a Charlotte retirement community nurse for many years, gender equality should be advocated, homosexuals are people too. Also, the elderly will leave in fear if sexual discrimination is present. How can homosexuals socialize and be happy if other elderly hates their kind? How can there be a perfect harmony if there is no harmony to begin with? You know, life is short and at our home at retirement living Charlotte, NC, gender-discrimination is nonexistent.

  7. I'm all for gender equality, but I can see how this can be an issue for many in the older generations. However, given time I think this will slowly become more and more accepted.

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  8. Time alone has not proven to be effective in ensuring that all people's civil rights are implemented equally. To often the passage of time has only meant continued benefits for some at the expense of continued victimization of others whose rights are being denied. Historically, laws have had to be passed and implemented to force these issues.