Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec

Abstract

Current census data indicates that there are over 38 million Americans over the age of 65 at this time. (U.S. Census, 2010). It is estimated that as many as 3.8 million older adults in the United States identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, or transgender. Though there is a growing body of literature on the needs and concerns of BGL&T older adults with regards to accessing health care services as they age, there is very little literature on how prepared providers feel to provide culturally competent care to BGL&T people. In an attempt to address this gap, this researcher conducted a survey with nursing home social workers in the state of Minnesota. Items on the survey addressed issues including: comfort working with bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender residents, feelings about the importance of targeted outreach, and any outreach that was being done by the facility. The data collected indicated that though nursing home social workers feel comfortable working with BGL&T residents and feel that awareness of the unique needs and concerns of BGL&T older adults is important, there is a lack of consensus on the importance of targeted services and outreach. Key findings and recommendations for future research are also discussed.

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