inclusion in aging services

The Vital Role of Inclusion in Aging Services

As the demographic landscape evolves, the importance of diversity and inclusion in aging services has become increasingly crucial. The aging population is more diverse than ever, encompassing a wide range of ethnicities, cultures, and identities. One particularly significant subset of this population is the LGBTQ+ community. Ensuring that aging services are inclusive and respectful of diversity is essential for providing equitable and effective care. This article explores the importance of diversity and inclusion in aging services, with a specific focus on the LGBTQ+ population.
The Need for Inclusive Aging Services

The growing diversity among older adults necessitates a shift in how aging services are designed and delivered. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people aged 65 and older is projected to reach 95 million by 2060, making up nearly 25% of the population. This aging demographic is not only increasing in size but also in diversity, with significant variations in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Challenges Faced by LGBTQ+ Older Adults

LGBTQ+ older adults face unique challenges that require specific attention:

  1. Healthcare Disparities: LGBTQ+ seniors are more likely to encounter barriers to healthcare, including discrimination and lack of culturally competent care providers. This can lead to poorer health outcomes and reluctance to seek medical help.
  2. Social Isolation: Many LGBTQ+ older adults experience higher levels of social isolation and loneliness compared to their heterosexual peers. This is often due to a lack of family support, historical stigma, and discrimination.
  3. Economic Insecurity: Economic disparities are also prevalent among LGBTQ+ seniors. A report by the National Council on Aging found that LGBTQ+ older adults are more likely to live in poverty and have less financial security in retirement compared to non-LGBTQ+ seniors.
The Role of Inclusive Aging Services

Inclusive aging services play a critical role in addressing these challenges and promoting the well-being of all older adults.

  1. Cultural Competence: Training healthcare providers and aging service professionals in cultural competence is essential. This includes understanding the unique needs of LGBTQ+ seniors and creating an environment where they feel safe and respected.
  2. Policy and Advocacy: Advocating for policies that protect the rights of LGBTQ+ older adults is vital. This includes anti-discrimination laws and policies that ensure equal access to healthcare, housing, and social services.
  3. Community Support: Creating support networks and community programs that specifically cater to LGBTQ+ seniors can help reduce social isolation and provide a sense of belonging. These programs can offer social activities, counseling, and resources tailored to their needs.
  4. Inclusive Facilities: Ensuring that senior living facilities and aging service providers are welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals is crucial. This can be achieved through staff training, inclusive policies, and creating an environment that celebrates diversity.
Why Inclusivity in Aging Services Matters

Inclusive aging services not only address the specific needs of LGBTQ+ seniors but also enhance the overall quality of care for all older adults. These services foster a culture of respect, dignity, and understanding, leading to better health outcomes and improved quality of life. By embracing diversity and inclusion, aging services can create supportive environments where all individuals can thrive.

As the population of older adults continues to grow and diversify, the importance of diversity and inclusion in aging services cannot be overstated. For LGBTQ+ seniors, inclusive aging services are essential to addressing healthcare disparities, reducing social isolation, and ensuring economic security. By prioritizing cultural competence, advocating for supportive policies, and fostering inclusive communities, we can create a more equitable and compassionate aging service system for everyone.


Our goal is impact through inclusion.  As such, we focus on three critical components of the aging services field.

Strategic Consulting designed for aging services providers and business partners.

Community & Housing Development creating communities of inclusion and belonging for older adults, intergenerational families and caregivers.

Not-For-Profit Provider of housing, supports and services for older adults, intergenerational families and caregivers.

We commit ourselves to serving at the intersection of inclusion and longevity.  We do this through strategic consulting services for mission-driven organizations, developing and operating inclusive, supportive living environments for older adults and histrionically marginalized groups, and providing our expertise to boards and associations seeking to transform the model of aging.

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). Demographic Turning Points for the United States: Population Projections for 2020 to 2060. Retrieved from U.S. Census
  2. National Council on Aging. (2023). Understanding the Characteristics of LGBTQ+ Older Adults. Retrieved from NCOA
  3. Center for Healthy Aging. (2023). Embracing Diversity: Issues Faced by LGBTQ Older Adults. Retrieved from Colostate