Older Women: Current and Future Challenges of Professionals with an Aging Population

Well-Being and Health Considerations for the Aging Lesbian Community: Understanding Age Cohorts, Partnerships, Caregiving and Other Unique Needs

Author(s): Michael P. Dentato, Shelley L. Craig and Lauren B. McInroy

Pp: 226-252 (27)

Doi: 10.2174/9781681083490116010015

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Effectively exploring the well-being, health and mental health needs of the aging lesbian community can often be difficult and multi-leveled, while insuring a competent and comprehensive assessment of needs. A limited amount of research has specifically attended to the lives and unique experiences of aging lesbians, along with those of the larger LGBT community, therefore such matters remain poorly understood. Regardless, insuring any dialogue surrounding the needs of older lesbians must underscore their resilience - which for many has included becoming actively engaged as advocates for visibility and change - especially during the late 1960s and Stonewall Inn revolution, as well as the early 1980s and beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic - despite ongoing discrimination and prejudice. This chapter examines some of the background statistics on the older lesbian population, exploring lifespan and developmental topics including: coming out; relationships and marriage; parenting; and age cohort differences along with caregiving, death and dying, and risk/protective factors related to sex and sexuality. The chapter concludes with implications for social workers, counselors, and others health practitioners, focusing on affirming approaches and models of practice.

Keywords: Aging, Caregivers, Lesbians, LGBT community.

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