Stuart is a 65-year-old man and a long-time patient of yours. Two years ago, he presented to your office with several disturbing and distressing neurological symptoms. Eventually, after several tests and consultations, the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was made. You have spent time with Stuart to carefully explain the details of the disorder and, when needed, have provided support reading material and connected him with community. Stuart has appeared to cope very well with his illness.
One year after his diagnosis, Stuart’s condition began to worsen and he was eventually began to use a wheelchair for most of the day.
During a routine follow-up visit to your office one day, Stuart breaks down in tears and reveals that he is very unhappy.
He reveals that his primary caregiver, his long-time boyfriend, is suffering from caregiver burnout. He says that his partner could no longer cope with the stress of his worsening illness.
Stuart wonders if he would need to be transferred to long-term care facility, but he fears that such facility may not treat gay people fairly.
Canadian resources for sexual orientation, aging and disability:
Older Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual Persons: Community Services Challenges and Opportunities for the 519 Community Centre and the GLBT Community - A Review (Toronto)
U of Saskatchewan Library - Aging and Gays and Lesbians - Sociology / Anthropology Bibliography
National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA): Gay and Lesbian Seniors
Critical issues in practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual and two-spirit people: Educational module for professionals in the fields of health and allied health. Authors: Shari Brotman and Bill Ryan, McGill School of Social Work
Disability & Sexuality Booklist: see:“Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation: Stories of the Rainbow Group.“ By John Allen.
Brotman S et al. The health and social service needs of gay and lesbian elders and their families in Canada. Gerontologist 200. 43(2):192-202.
"Who Sleeps with Whom" (9:00) Director S. Kate Moore "Lesbianly inclined"? Friends in their eighties share wine, wisdom and ideas about same sex rights in this thought-provoking short documentary.