The unsettling results of a recent online survey have prompted concerns about long-term patient care of the LGBT community. The survey asked for insight on older LGBT residents' experiences within the long-term care system. The results indicate that there is much work to be done before the needs of these patients will be properly met.
The nationwide survey was organized by the National Senior Citizens Law Center along with a number of other LGBT advocacy groups. Included among the 769 people who responded to the survey were 284 self-proclaimed older LGBT individuals, family members, friends, social workers and legal workers.
Over half of those who responded to the survey believe that staff members of long-term care facilities would openly discriminate against those LGBT residents who did not hide their sexual orientation. Over half of respondents reported that they believe staff or other residents would neglect or even abuse an openly LGBT peer.
While LGBT individuals have similar healthcare needs as heterosexual individuals, there is a discrepancy in the quality of care they receive due to stereotypes, fear and other such barriers. According to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the healthcare industry should focus on identifying and providing the specific needs of LGBT individuals and creating an approachable and welcoming clinical environment.
"Our hope is that this report provokes thought, raises critical questions, and compels future systematic research that can be used to dive deeper into the issues raised by these findings," said Paul Nathanson, Executive Director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center.
Progress on these issues is necessary to ensure that LGBT patients are given the adequate care that they deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or negligent care in a long-term facility, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
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