Aging challenges for LGBTQ+ individuals

June marks LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a time to celebrate diversity, honor the history of the LGBTQ+ community, and advocate for continued progress toward equality. Originating from the Stonewall riots in 1969, Pride Month is a vibrant expression of solidarity and acceptance, highlighting the ongoing struggle for civil rights. Today we will highlight some of the aging challenges for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Aging challenges

While Pride Month is a time of celebration, it’s also a critical period to reflect on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly aging adults. These seniors often confront unique hurdles due to a lifetime of discrimination and the lack of legal protections. Many have lived through eras where being openly LGBTQ+ was not only socially stigmatized but also criminalized, leaving enduring psychological scars.

Laws and policies significantly impact the well-being of this community of aging adults. Inadequate legal protections can lead to healthcare, housing, and social services disparities. Discrimination in these areas can exacerbate feelings of isolation and vulnerability. For instance, LGBTQ+ seniors are more likely to live alone and less likely to have children to support them, increasing their reliance on social services that may not be LGBTQ+ friendly.

Unique Estate Planning Concerns for LGBTQ+ Seniors

We often advise that everyone over 18 should create a proper estate plan, which includes a Georgia Advance Directive for HealthcareGeneral Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters, and a Will. However, this is especially important for LGBTQ+ people. Sadly, same-sex couples are more vulnerable to sabotage by unsupportive family members. Examples include contesting a will or interfering in medical or financial decision-making.

Do you have a reliable decision maker in place?

Another complication is when someone doesn’t have a reliable decision-maker in place. This can be the case if a spouse or partner is deceased, or a person is unsure if their designated decision-maker will fulfill their wishes. There are also times when someone cannot identify a decision-maker for themselves. Hurley Elder Care Law’s Aging Ally service can be quite helpful in these situations.

At Hurley Elder Care Law, we are experienced estate planning and elder law attorneys who pay close attention to the special needs of all our clients. We offer a warm and caring environment. Our attorneys, social workers, intake coordinators and public benefit experts work together as a team to provide the best legal, financial, and emotional support. Call us today at 404-843-0121 with any questions or to schedule an appointment at any of our four convenient Georgia locations in Atlanta, Duluth, Peachtree City, and Woodstock. We also happily offer virtual meetings.

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