Addressing the Needs of LGBT Older Adults in San Francisco: Recommendations for the Future
This report examines results of a survey of more than 600 LGBT older adults in San Francisco in 2013.
Services and Programs LGBT older adults often have unique needs due to past experiences of discrimination in medical, aging, and social services (see Resources and Risks section). In addition, many LGBT older adults do not have children to help them. While 15% of the participants report having children, 60% of those with children report that their children are not able to help them. Meanwhile, services and programs to assist older adults are frequently geared towards the general population, and cultural sensitivity training may or may not address LGBT-related issues. The sexual orientation and gender identity comparisons summarized below are based on statistical significance tests2 adjusting for age, income, and education. For sexual orientation comparisons: lesbians are compared to gay men; bisexual women and men are compared to lesbian and gay men. For gender identity comparisons, transgender women and men are compared with non-transgender women and men. A breakdown of services and programs findings by sexual orientation, gender identity, and background characteristics can be found in Appendix Table 2, and Figures 1 and 2. When comparing San Francisco’s LGBT older adult participants to older adults in San Francisco’s general population, some preliminary findings emerge that deserve additional attention: LGBT participants cited the following six services and programs as the most needed: health services, health promotion services, mental health services, housing assistance, case manager/social worker, and telephone/online referrals; only one service, telephone/online referrals was identified as "most needed" by older adults in San Francisco (National Research Center, 2008). The top five services and programs used by LGBT participants are: health services, mental health service/support groups, health promotion services, housing assistance, and case manager/social worker; again, only one service, the latter, was identified as "most used" by older adults in San Francisco (National Research Center, 2008). Most needed services and programs LGBT participants were provided a list of 14 services that have historically been the more frequently needed services among San Francisco’s older adults. Participants were asked to identify what services and programs they have needed in the past 12 months. An initial analysis identifies the most commonly identified services and programs from that list. Of the 14 services and programs considered, 50% of participants report needing health services. At least one out of five participants report needing the following seven services and programs: Health services (50%) Health promotion services (28%) Mental health services (27%) Housing assistance (24%) Case manager/social worker (22%) Telephone/online referrals (21%) Meal site/free groceries (21%) 2 See Methodology for overview of tests of significance for these analyses. 14