Gay and graying

Study examines LGBT people's aging concerns, plans

More than 70 percent of lesbian and gay and respondents over age 40 reported concerns about losing the ability to care for themselves in a recent study conducted by Community Marketing, Inc. The majority also feared becoming sick or disabled, being dependent on others, and outliving their savings. Affirmations will host an open discussion that will examine issues aging members of the LGBT community face, and discuss planning for the future, during a free seminar from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

According to Community Marketing, Inc., when asked which resources LGBT people would rely on for long-term financial and social care as they age, less than 8 percent of respondents said they would place significant reliance on long-term care insurance.

The majority of respondents have completed a Living Will and the majority have a Power of Attorney, but less than 50 percent have completed an Estate Will or set up a Living Trust. (Hospitals often require a visiting partner to present a living will in order to enter his or her partner's hospital room.)

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they are at least fairly confident that they would be treated with dignity and respect by medical personnel, but 19 percent expressed concerns that they have little confidence in this being the case.

Some views of retirement and old age are much more positive. Respondents look forward to: traveling (79 percent), having more time for personal interests (74 percent), and peace and relaxation (60 percent). In addition, lesbians were more likely to report looking forward to spending more time with friends and family than gay men.

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