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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Aging

, 360 pages
July 2012



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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Aging

Challenges in Research, Practice, and Policy

The graying of the U.S. population draws increasing focus to historically unattended segments of society, including sexual and gender minorities. In this first comprehensive volume to address the challenges of aging in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex populations, this text presents what is currently known about aging GLBT individuals and what services are needed to support them.

The editors first provide an introductory overview comparing caregiving in GLBT and normative aging communities. In chapters devoted to the issues of each alternative sexuality and gender identity community, top experts in the field discuss biomedical, psychological, social/sexual, spiritual, socioeconomic, and service topics related to that community's aging needs.

GLBT populations face unique challenges as they age. Despite the often severe difficulties they encounter, many live out their final years with the dignity and grace that all of us deserve. With a combination of the latest biological and social science research, moving case studies and first-person accounts, practical advice for health professionals, and research literature citations, this book represents a major step forward in addressing concerns of aging GLBT populations.

Integrating research, practice, and policy, this text is for students and professionals in gerontology, medicine, social work, psychology, nursing, public health, and related fields who wish to learn more about the life experiences and concerns of sexual- and gender-minority-identified older patients.

Tarynn M. Witten, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., F.G.S.A., is an associate professor of biological complexity, senior fellow, and director of research and development at the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Virginia Commonwealth University. A. Evan Eyler, M.D., M.P.H., is an associate professor of family medicine and psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

"This integrated view of aging and sexual and gender minorities fills a major gap in the collective knowledge of and cultural responsiveness to these invisible communities."

"Offers a valuable contribution to the developing literature concerned with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) ageing."

"It is a comprehensive, thought-provoking resource, which I hope would not only be enjoyed by those with an already firm interest in the subject but also by anyone working with older people."

"Witten and Eyler have written an immensely comprehensive overview of aging for sexual and gender minorities, outlining clinical, research, and policy issues within the context of life cycle development. A much-needed and long-awaited resource, this book delineates issues facing LGBTI persons, their families, and caregivers."

"This book contains a special wisdom: it articulates the disparities aging LBGTI people face, and—more importantly—it illuminates areas of specialized knowledge that urgently deserve wider attention."

"This book merits serious attention for its empirical breadth and theoretical compass. By using gerontological constructs (such as resilience and cultural/structural lag), Witten, Eyler and their collaborators underscore the importance of multidimensional, life-course perspectives to understand the stories, needs, and demands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed persons."

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