Title

Housing for ageing LGBT people in Sweden: A descriptive study of needs, preferences and concerns.

Location

Soo Line

Start Time

18-10-2014 2:55 PM

End Time

18-10-2014 3:25 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

It is well documented that societies in many countries builds upon a hetero-normative perspective. Such perspective influence upon how the individual identity is shaped, as well as how we interact and organize our daily lives in relation to roles and places within home and society. Our identities are also reflected in how we organize our homes and relationships. With an increasing number of ageing people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual (LGBT), there is a risk that traditional housing for older people fails to meet the needs and preferences of LGBT people, or even exclude this group in planning services and support for the elderly.

The aim of this study was therefore to describe LGBT persons’ needs, preferences and concerns according to ageing and housing. Further, the ambition was to examine if and how specific senior housing facilities for this group can meet those needs, preferences and worriers.

Based on a survey (n=487), followed by six focus group discussions (n=30), with persons who identified themselves as LGBT, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to analyze the findings.

When comparing the ranking of specific preferences (in terms of architectural and environmental features and staff competence) in a senior housing between the LGBT people (n=200) and heterosexual matched controls (n=198), only minor differences were detected according to sexual preferences. The findings from the focus group discussions explored other aspects of importance for successful ageing and housing for older LGBT people that were not detected in the survey questions.

A dilemma between segregation and openness: When reasoning about this topic, the participants agreed upon that they did not want to exclude any group from a LGBT senior housing, while at the same time agreeing upon the importance of being able to age in a safe LGBT culture, in particular when there is a need for a lot of care or social support.

Senior housing with a clearly defined LGBT profile where LGBT people constitute the majority creates a safe atmosphere for them to age in place. This safe atmosphere also makes it possible to include heterosexual individuals as residents, without risking that the safety associated with ageing together with persons with similar experiences through the life story is to be threatened.

People associated with the LGBT community are often connected to families of choice, constituted by networks of persons at different ages connected through close friendship. This resource should be supported in an LGBT senior housing.

In order to give space for the variety among lifestyles and preferences in LGBT people, and also to include heterosexual individuals, a senior housing for LGBT people should include different forms of housing and residential care facilities.

The achieved knowledge from the study is also translated into architectural features and environmental designs within a fictive building.

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Oct 18th, 2:55 PM Oct 18th, 3:25 PM

Housing for ageing LGBT people in Sweden: A descriptive study of needs, preferences and concerns.

Soo Line

It is well documented that societies in many countries builds upon a hetero-normative perspective. Such perspective influence upon how the individual identity is shaped, as well as how we interact and organize our daily lives in relation to roles and places within home and society. Our identities are also reflected in how we organize our homes and relationships. With an increasing number of ageing people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual (LGBT), there is a risk that traditional housing for older people fails to meet the needs and preferences of LGBT people, or even exclude this group in planning services and support for the elderly.

The aim of this study was therefore to describe LGBT persons’ needs, preferences and concerns according to ageing and housing. Further, the ambition was to examine if and how specific senior housing facilities for this group can meet those needs, preferences and worriers.

Based on a survey (n=487), followed by six focus group discussions (n=30), with persons who identified themselves as LGBT, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to analyze the findings.

When comparing the ranking of specific preferences (in terms of architectural and environmental features and staff competence) in a senior housing between the LGBT people (n=200) and heterosexual matched controls (n=198), only minor differences were detected according to sexual preferences. The findings from the focus group discussions explored other aspects of importance for successful ageing and housing for older LGBT people that were not detected in the survey questions.

A dilemma between segregation and openness: When reasoning about this topic, the participants agreed upon that they did not want to exclude any group from a LGBT senior housing, while at the same time agreeing upon the importance of being able to age in a safe LGBT culture, in particular when there is a need for a lot of care or social support.

Senior housing with a clearly defined LGBT profile where LGBT people constitute the majority creates a safe atmosphere for them to age in place. This safe atmosphere also makes it possible to include heterosexual individuals as residents, without risking that the safety associated with ageing together with persons with similar experiences through the life story is to be threatened.

People associated with the LGBT community are often connected to families of choice, constituted by networks of persons at different ages connected through close friendship. This resource should be supported in an LGBT senior housing.

In order to give space for the variety among lifestyles and preferences in LGBT people, and also to include heterosexual individuals, a senior housing for LGBT people should include different forms of housing and residential care facilities.

The achieved knowledge from the study is also translated into architectural features and environmental designs within a fictive building.