Future Research & Policy Needs The growing population of LGBT older people is unique having experienced the spectrum of oppressive institutional stigma and discrimination in younger years, and unprecedented social change to understanding and acceptance of LGBT individuals in older adulthood. Still LGBT older adults are largely ignored in gerontology and sexual and gender minority research and by the agencies and stakeholder that serve these groups. Given the findings reported above, below are recommendations for future research and policy initiatives to deepen and broaden our understanding of LGBT older adults and address common barriers they face.
Research Needs One of the biggest challenges to studying LGBT older adults is getting valid data. Most studies of LGBT older adults have used small sample sizes and community-based, non-probability sampling methods. While these studies have provided invaluable information, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders, findings from such studies are not generalizable to the overall LGBT older adult population (Addis et al. 2009). Policy makers who seek information from representative samples of LGBT older adults may find it difficult to characterize the population for several reasons. A prominent challenge is that sexual orientation and gender identity measures are not included in many U.S. probability-sampling based studies (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2015). A second major challenge is that LGBT older adults are a small and, therefore, difficult population to reach. To achieve large enough number respondents, researchers who want to recruit probability samples would need to over-sample the LGBT older adult population (and, within this population, race/ethnic minorities). Such methods
Highlights from the 2015 Denver convening: Evaluating and Enhancing Aging Network Outreach to LGBT Older Adults Recognizing diversity among LGBT older adults Data collection, research, and developing data systems were important themes at the 2015 Denver convening. Researchers such as Drs. Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, Naomi Goldberg, Ilan H. Meyer, and Samuel Haffer emphasized the lack of knowledge of disadvantaged communities within the LGBT older adult populations such as individuals living in poverty, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and other underserved groups. Ilan H. Meyer noted the need for NIH funding of population probability samples with large samples of LGBT individuals. Samuel Haffer, Director of Data and Policy Analytics Group at the U.S. Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) underlined how critical data collection is as the mindset among government agencies working with minority health populations is that if something cannot be measured, it cannot be improved. To improve data collection on LGBT individuals, CMS has established five major initiatives to integrate LGBT issues into the agencyâ€™s data collection efforts. The initiatives aim to collect and analyze data in a standardized way at social and health service organizations that may serve LGBT older adults.
Published on Sep 21, 2016
This report is a review of existing literature of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults and provides recommendations f...