Perspectives of LGBTQ Older Adults on Aging in Place: A Qualitative Investigation

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Graduate School of Social Work


Aging in place, Community-based participatory research, Community-research partnership, LGBTQ, Older adults, Qualitative methods


This qualitative study conducted by a community-research partnership used multiple types of data collection to examine variables relevant for LGBTQ older adults who wished to age in place in their urban Denver neighborhood. Focus groups, interviews, and a town hall meeting were used to identify barriers and supports to aging in place. Participants (N = 73) identified primarily as lesbian or gay, aged 50–69, and lived with a partner. Ageism, heterosexism, and cisgenderism emerged as cross-cutting themes that negatively impact access to health care, housing, social support, home assistance, and legal services. Resilience from weathering a lifetime of discrimination was identified as a strength to handle aging challenges. Recommendations for establishing an aging in place model included establishing welcoming communities and resource centers and increasing cultural competence of service providers. This study provides a unique contribution to understanding the psychosocial, medical, and legal barriers for successfully aging in place.

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