Assembly Committee Hears Testimony on LGBT Seniors’ Health Needs
Last week, a California Assembly committee held a hearing on the health needs of elderly lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender state residents, the Bay Area Reporter reports.
The hearing is the first of its kind in the state Legislature and is part of a series of hearings planned by the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care that will focus on various demographic groups.
Details of Hearing
Several LGBT aging experts and community members testified during the hearing.
Gary Gates, a demographer with the UCLA Williams Institute, told legislators that there are about 250,000 LGB people ages 40 to 55 in the state and about 215,000 LGB people ages 55 or older in the state. Of those, Gates said:
- About 3.5% of Californians ages 40 to 55 are lesbian, gay or bisexual; and
- About 2.5% of Californians ages 65 to 70 are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Gates noted that "LGB people are substantially more likely to have a college degree but equally likely to live in poverty" because of "potentially a lifetime of discrimination" that affects their employment or advancement opportunities.
Ben Hudson, executive director of the Gender Health Center, said legislators should focus on requiring health care providers to be culturally sensitive when treating LGBT individuals.
He said that his agency often is asked for a list of providers who can treat LGBT patients but that there is "little to no outreach in elder care and training on LGBT needs among providers."
The committee will include findings from last week's hearing in a report set to be released in November.
Committee Chair Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) said the report will include both legislative and policy recommendations (Bajko, Bay Area Reporter, 6/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.