Ep 042: In the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community is large; in fact, this group makes up approximately 4.5% of the country’s total population. An estimated 2.7 million adults in the US are both LGBTQ+ and over 50, with 1.1 million over the age of 65. Despite their size and prevalence, the LGBTQ+ community still experiences myriads of hurdles and challenges, especially when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 56% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and 70% of transgender individuals have encountered anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination when attempting to access healthcare. Further, the LGBTQ+ community faces unique challenges through the aging process. So what are those challenges and what resources are available to help overcome them? That's the premise of today's show!
Our guest is the Associate Vice President of Community and Pediatric Services at Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He has over 20 years of experience providing mental health services to youth and families across a variety of settings. He also is an adjunct faculty member at both UMaine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor and is the Clinical Consultant for the Bangor YMCA. He serves on the Maine Board of Social Work Licensing and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care. Locally, he was recognized in 2019 for his advocacy work with LGBTQ+ youth and was named Health Care Social Worker of the Year in 2019 by the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Chapter of the SSWLHC. Nationally, he was the SSWLHC’s 2019 recipient of the Eleanor Clark Award for Innovative Programs in Patient Care for his work on youth suicide prevention. In the Spring of 2020, he was named the University of Maine School of Social Work's Alumni of the Year. Please welcome Christopher McLaughlin BACK to the Retirement Success in Maine Podcast!
Welcome back, Chris! [2:37]
When we talk about LGBTQ+, who are we talking about? [9:13]
What does it mean for the LGBTQ+ community to take ownership of who they really are? [20:47]
What are some things that LGBTQ+ seniors can do to reduce social isolation? [31:58]
In Maine, what organizations can LGBTQ+ seniors turn to to assist with their needs as they age? [46:16]
How do state statutes on rights and the stability of those rights impact the decision making on where to live? [50:24]
If Chris could have anything named after him, what would it be and why? [1:03:46]
Ben and Curtis wrap-up the conversation. [1:06:08]