Lonliness a challenge for older gay community

THE ageing lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) population is more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and face the challenge of living alone than are heterosexuals, a Californian study suggests.

The research showed half of all older gay and bisexual men in California were living alone, compared with 13.4% of heterosexual men in the same 50- to 70-year age group.

 For older lesbians and bisexual women, the figure was more than one in four, compared with one in five for heterosexual women.

The LGB population had higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, poor mental health, physical disability and self-assessed fair or poor health, compared with demographically similar ageing heterosexual adults. 

“Many ageing LGB Californians do not have biological children or strong family support,” said Steven Wallace, lead researcher for the University of California Los Angeles policy brief.