The 21st Show

Aging as a member of the LGBTQ community


AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Aging brings a lot of concerns for many people, and for older LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) adults, these concerns can be even more magnified. Older members of the LGBTQ community are less likely to have adult children to help care for them, and there’s also the fear of having to go back into the closet at a nursing home or hospital.

According to the latest report from AARP Illinois and SAGE, more than 60 percent of LGBTQ adults fear neglect, abuse or discrimination because of their identity when accessing long-term care. We spoke to the coordinator of a social group for older LGBTQ folks, the director of Advocacy and Outreach of AARP Illinois, and an educator who teaches healthcare providers about elder LGBTQ experiences about that report.


Jerry Carden 

Aging UP, Uniting Pride 

Don Bell 

Educates Healthcare providers at University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Chicago about the LGBTQ elder experience

Mary Anderson 

Director of Advocacy & Outreach, AARP Illinois



Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: