Our latest study on housing options for LGBTQ+ seniors is getting some media attention! Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan at the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University is leading the study and co-researchers include me and Dr. Mikiko Terashima at the School of Planning, as well as a number of other researchers, housing developers, and non-profit organizations across Canada. Framing housing as a key determinant of health, being out can cause concerns for aging seniors who are considering moving into assisted living or long-term care facilities. They fear discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and are often unwilling to disclose this part of their identity in a new housing situation. Knowing that a facility was LGBTQ-friendly would go a long way to easing these concerns.
We were successful in getting a one-year grant for the study through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which will include a scoping review of existing solutions from other countries, a survey to identify some of the key housing issues faced by boomers (born from 1946-1964), and focus groups with LGBTQ+ seniors. Dr. Gahagan has already conducted research on this topic in Europe, where several innovative models for inclusive seniors housing exist. We’re hoping to use this one-year grant and study results as a springboard to a much larger five-year grant on the topic through CMHC’s National Housing Strategy funding on research on key issues in housing.
Read more about the study on CBC (“‘The final closet’: Researcher seeks solutions for long-term LGBTQ seniors“, August 2, 2019) and Dal News (“Avoiding ‘the final closet’ for older LGBTQ+ adults in long term care“, August 15, 2019)