The following are items that are potential areas of discrimination against gay older adults, and laws to be aware of. This type of discrimination doesn’t always happen, but with planning and awareness, you can be prepared and proactive.
- Same-sex partners cannot receive Social Security survivor benefits.
- Veterans’ benefits are denied to surviving same-sex partners.
- GLBT older adults often experience discrimination in long-term care settings.
- In long-term care facilities, same-sex partners may not be able to share a room.
- Often, GLBT older adults do not have adequate family support systems.
- Medicaid regulations protect the assets and homes of married spouses when their
partner enters a nursing home or long-term care facility; yet in most states, no such
protection is offered to same-sex partners.
- Basic rights and hospital visitation are often denied same-sex partners.
- During an end-of-life situation there is the potential for discriminative and callous
treatment of a GLBT partner by medical staff or family. It is important that everyone has a Power of Attorney for Health Care and Advanced Directives, particularly gay older adults, so partners can have the right to speak for their loved ones in medical care situations.