Nursing homes not prepared for gay seniors

Aug. 7, 2012 at 1:58 PM
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MIAMI, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A film showing in some South Florida theaters is revealing many of the problems gay people say they experience when they enter nursing homes.

"Gen Silent," a one-hour documentary by California director Stu Maddox, allows elderly gay nursing home residents, and their caregivers, to tell their stories of mistreatment and lack of acceptance, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

In a scene in the film, a social worker describes seeing a nursing aide pray with a resident to be forgiven of being gay.

In another scene, the younger half of a gay couple described what it was like to put his partner in a nursing home for the first time: "They weren't prepared to deal with us as a couple. You could pick up the vibrations, especially from the aides."

A nationwide survey of a mix of 769 gay seniors, family members and care providers conducted in 2010 found that 43 percent of those asked reported 853 cases of mistreatment.

A report that included the survey said that more than 75 percent of LGBT respondents said gay seniors would hide the sexual orientation if they found themselves in a nursing facility.

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