Reminding LGBTQ+ Seniors That They Are Not Forgotten
LGBTQ+ seniors are one of the most at-risk populations for loneliness in the United States. The dangers of loneliness are often understated, and clouded by stigma, but it’s never been more important to understand how social isolation affects LGBTQ+ seniors and the elderly in general. Loneliness correlates with increased risk of heart disease, accelerated cognitive decline, depression, decreased immune response, inflammation, increases in stress and atypical hormone levels, and disruptions in sleep patterns.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, there is a danger in social distancing becoming social isolation. According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people ages 65 and older. It is therefore understandable that social distancing measures have been implemented in order to protect this age demographic. However, since loneliness is also a concern, there is a crucial need for programs that keep seniors connected to their communities.
With this goal in mind, Alegre Home Care is sponsoring an initiative by Openhouse in San Francisco to assemble and deliver hundreds of gift bags to LGBTQ+ seniors. We want our LGBTQ+ seniors to know that they are not forgotten — that their community cares about them and wants to remain connected.
Openhouse enables San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ+ seniors to overcome the unique challenges they face as they age by providing housing, direct services, and community programs. Knowing that actions speak louder than words, the organization has worked hard throughout the year to create points of community connection. Openhouse delivered 600 gift bags during pride and 600 Give Thanks baskets in November. Transgender seniors received a hot brunch delivery during Trans Pride and Openhouse even made front-page news with their drag show for residents who watched from their apartment windows.
This is just a small sample of all the work Openhouse is doing to empower community and connection with LGBTQ+ seniors, and Alegre Home Care is honored to help support.
The Unique Caregiving Needs for LGBTQ+ Seniors
As LGBTQ+ seniors are part of a demographic that has historically placed them in the way of prejudice and abuse, being able to address their concerns in an honest and straightforward way is paramount to providing quality caregiving services. This attention to unique circumstances is why in-home caregiving is a valuable option for LGBTQ+ seniors in need of care.
Statistics show that eight of ten older people depend on family members for basic in-home care services, but LGBTQ+ seniors are far less likely than their peers to have immediate family. This means that they rely on help from caregivers and medical professionals.
With in-home care services, LGBTQ+ seniors receive confidentiality, advocacy, personally-designed care plans, and the ability to remain within their communities by aging within the comfort of their own homes.
Alegre Home Care is uniquely suited to provide in-home care services to LGBTQ+ seniors since it is the only LGBT-certified home care agency in California. We actively advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and are members of the Golden Gate Business Association — the world’s first LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce. Sponsoring initiatives like the ones taken by Openhouse is an example of the kind of involvement and advocacy Alegre Home Care provides.
In-Home Care Services for LGBTQ+ Seniors
Involvement in community activities or participation in a formalized social group can have a tremendous impact in countering loneliness and these are activities that in-home caregivers can help facilitate.
If you or a loved one is in need of in-home care, please contact Alegre Home Care at one of our Northern California locations. Caregivers at Alegre Home Care receive extra training in order to provide the best caregiving services for LGBTQ+ seniors, so you can feel confident that your care is in trusted hands.