With a growing population of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults, it is critical to better understand the future long-term care needs of this population. This study compares anticipated need for future nursing home placement, as well as health characteristics of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual adults.
Using data from the 2016 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted to examine anticipated nursing home placement and health characteristics of LGB (n = 137) and heterosexual (n = 3469) adults.
There was a marginally significant difference in anticipated need for nursing home placement. LGB (34%, SD = 29.2) adults reported a higher percent chance of ever having to move to a nursing home compared to heterosexual adults (27%, SD = 27.3; p = 0.055). LGB respondents were less likely to have a living child/children (37% vs 82%, p < .001), but no other demographic differences were found between the samples.
Findings from this early research add to the literature on the future care needs of older sexual minorities. Given the differing family structures of LGB adults and other factors, long-term care facilities must ensure their workforce is prepared to support a growing, diverse older adult population.