This brief paper presents selective findings from a project that explored the issue of ageing in a nonheterosexual context, and the implications for social policy. The study generated studied the life circumstances of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals aged between the fifties and eighties, and generated prospective and retrospective data on nonheterosexual ageing. There are diverse definitions and meanings of old age among participants, and a range of possibilities exist for how ageing is negotiated. The participants acknowledged that ageing generally affects their selfperception and the ways they live. The research documented a range of experience in terms of confidence in sexual identity and financial security. While a high proportion of the sample lived alone, many were in couple relationships. Relationships with families of origin, partners, and especially friendships, were considered important. Very few participants had made plans for old age or health crises, and only a small proportion believed that health professionals were positive towards their sexuality. Most considered careresidential homes as an undesirable housing option for old age. Most would like housing and support services to be gayfriendly, but they were generally not confident about this prospect. The participants generally believed that they were discriminated on the basis of sexuality, and that older nonheterosexuals were an invisible constituency to policy makers and service providers.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 2003