Long-Term Care Planning for LGBTQ+ Seniors
Aging is an inevitable reality for everyone. Many adults do their long-term planning in anticipation of getting older. However, for many in the LGBTQ+ community, there is anxiety and trepidation over long-term planning. This is due to older people in this community worrying about being the subject of discrimination or inadequate care should they need to enter a nursing home. As a result, many do not plan or feel stuck when planning.
What Is Long-Term Care Planning?
Long-term care planning means putting together a course of action should you need assistance with your activities of daily living in the future, whether due to age, illness, or other reasons. For some people, this will involve entering a nursing home or assisted living community. For others, it will mean receiving help with health and personal care needs from the comfort of their own home.
Many of the programs and services that help people remain in their homes and communities are provided through Medicare and Medicaid.
Unique Long-Term Care Planning Challenges for the LGBTQ+ Community
Older people in the LGBTQ+ community are often concerned about what will happen if they need care from nonfamily members. They may have concerns about being open about their sexual orientation/gender and still receive the care they need.
What can a person do now to address these issues?
Mnay LGBTQ+ people face not having the same support system as others to assist them as they age. For example, many LGBTQ+ seniors do not have adult children, as adoption and fertility options were not as available in the past as they are today.
Understanding this and being prepared by connecting with communities or organizations that assist LGBTQ+ persons is essential in engaging in long-term care planning. These organizations and resources are growing every year. Some of these organizations include:
- National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging
- LGBTQ Caregiver Center
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
These can provide a wealth of information to help individuals understand issues they may face, their rights, and how to plan for their future. In addition, they can help you connect with an advocate to advise you, should the need arise. It is always a good idea to grow your support system and connect with others who are in a similar situation.
Get Your Advance Health Care Directives in Order
Another critical consideration in long-term care planning is getting your advance health care directive in order. An advance health care directive is a person’s instructions set out in advance regarding their health care wishes and who may assist with health care decisions on their behalf. Here at Monteforte Law, we call this a Voluntary Advance Directive. These are often referred to (depending on your state) as health care powers of attorney, durable powers of medical attorney, health care proxies, or living wills.
You can implement advance health care directives now so that your wishes regarding your medical care can be honored in the future. In addition, these directives allow you to designate a trusted person or persons to make these decisions if you become incapacitated. For many, this may help with the fear of potential mistreatment/issues with the management of their care in the future.
How can I find out more about LGBTQ+ Planning?
You can schedule a Strategic Planning Session with us to speak to one of our experienced attorneys. We can go over your specific concerns as well as our tools for alleviating your concerns. Rest assured that we have done it before, many times, and we can unburden you from this issue and the stress that goes along with it. You can also give us a call at 978-464-8560 or email us at [email protected] to learn more.