Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) older adults are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience health disparities, discrimination from healthcare providers based on sexual orientation, and rejection from their family of origin, all of which can complicate medical care and decision making, as well as end-of-life arrangements. Yet, relatively few studies of LGB seniors have looked at motivations for advance care and end-of-life planning, which are strategies that can help ensure that healthcare treatment and end-of-life wishes are enacted as desired. The present qualitative study investigated this topic with a purposive sample of nine LGB and same-gender-loving adults in a metropolitan region of the Southeastern United States. The study involved in-depth face-to-face interviews, followed by a brief pen-and-paper survey. Participants’ ages ranged from 65 to 77; the sample included five men and four women. Six individuals were white/Caucasian, while three were African American/Black. We identified three themes related to motivations for advance care and end-of-life planning: wanting a sense of agency, learning from others, and reducing conflict and confusion for loved ones. We discuss the importance of these findings for social work practice with LGB older adults and for social work education, as well as implications for future research.
Seelman, Kristie L.; Lewinson, Terri; Engleman, Lily; and Allen, Allex, "Motivations for Advance Care and End-of-Life Planning Among LGB Older Adults" (2018). Social Work Faculty Publications. 85.