Gay and lesbian perceptions of discrimination in retirement care facilities.J Homosex. 2005; 49(2):83-102.JH
Much research on older gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) adults has focused on refuting the widely held misconceptions people have about GLBT lifestyles. To date, however, few studies on older GLBTs have examined their social and health care needs. Further, most studies have collected survey samples of older GLBT adults in large metropolitan areas and have not specifically addressed discrimination or bias in retirement care facilities. In the current exploratory study on perceptions of discrimination and bias in retirement care facilities, we surveyed a wide age range GLBT adults in a smaller metropolitan area of fewer than 400,000 people to discover the perceptions of both younger and older GLBTs. We surveyed perceptions of discrimination in retirement care facilities, sources of perceived discrimination, and suggestions for how discrimination might be reduced or eliminated in those settings. Respondents indicated that administration, care staff, and residents of retirement care facilities themselves were all potential sources of discrimination, and that education addressing awareness and acceptance of GLBTs is one potential remedy for discrimination against GLBTs in retirement care facilities. Respondents also indicated a strong desire for the development of GLBT-exclusive or GLBT-friendly retirement care facilities. Chi-square analyses of responses to the discrimination questions and respondents' demographic characteristics revealed significant differences with regard to age, income, gender, community size, and education level of the respondents.