We know that caregiving is a difficult task for anyone. Being a support to a loved one who is experiencing cognitive or physical deterioration is a draining task. As much as we understand this truth, there has been very little known about the caregiving journey of the LGBTQ community.
A recent academic journal article from The Gerontologist cites research that seeks to understand the factors contributing to the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for sexually diverse caregivers. A notable finding was that over a three-year period, the quality of life of LGBTQ caregivers ages 50-98 was seen to decline. The factors contributing to this decline for caregivers were found to be discrimination, identity stigma, and insufficient food intake. Further decline was seen amongst those of older age and less physical activity. Less decline was seen in caregivers who participated in social support, community engagement, and physical activity.
It can be difficult for minority caregivers to access support and community, but these are essential elements that help caregivers function and can increase quality of life. At Normandale Center for Healing & Wholeness we prioritize community and connection for caregivers of all backgrounds. It is our goal to create a welcoming environment where seniors and their loved ones can find support and resources. We embrace the principles and imperative of being an LGBTQ+ welcoming organization. As the national community of caregivers continues to grow and diversify, we are called to support all seniors, their loved ones, and caregivers to grow in community and resilience.