Today I Learned...
- There are many caregiving resources specifically for LGBTQ+
- These 5 resources can help LGBTQ+ navigate the trials and tribulations of being a caregiver
aring for a loved one can be an incredibly stressful and exhausting experience.
For many caregivers, this experience is made even more difficult by the challenges that come with being LGBTQ. This is especially true if your loved one is also LGBTQ.
Many elderly LGBTQ people have been rejected by their families and are wary of medical and social service providers for this reason. They may rely on "families of choice"—friends or younger relatives, for example—rather than a spouse or next of kin.
For all these reasons and many more, it can be especially challenging for LGBTQ people to find the support they need when caring for aging or disabled family members.
Here are some LGBTQ+ resources for finding care, support, and useful information:
AARP’s LGBTQ Community Caregiving Guide provides practical guidance on developing and putting a caregiving plan in place for an LGBTQ loved one or friend. It includes information on forming a team, finding support, practicing self-care—and more!
2. Alzheimer’s Association
This organization has resources for LGBTQ people living with dementia and their caregivers, including online communities.
3. Family Caregiver Alliance
Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is a nonprofit organization that provides education and support for family caregivers. They have a website with resources for caregivers, including articles, tip sheets, fact sheets, and caregiver stories.
4. LGBT National Help Center
This resource hub offers information, support, and referrals—including an online peer-support chat room and a hotline (888-234-7243) for LGBTQ adults 50+ to speak with volunteer counselors.
5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The VA website has information about health care and long-term care policies for LGBTQ veterans, defined by the VA as “anyone whom the patient considers to be family.”
Every VA health system has an LGBTQ care coordinator who can answer your questions and advocate for quality care if you are concerned about treatment.
There are many ways to get support from others as you care for a loved one.
You can talk with other caregivers, or find online resources that can help you with specific issues like eldercare and legal rights. Even if you don’t feel comfortable talking about your situation with people you know, there are plenty of anonymous options available online where people won’t judge what it is like being LGBT in older age because they have been through something similar themselves.
For more caregiving resources, check out the following articles:
- Best-Selling Books on Caregiving: Self-Care, Dementia, Family Relationships & More
- A Self-Care Checklist for Caregivers