A pilot study about the needs of older gays and lesbians: What social workers need to know

Peggy L. McFarland, Elizabethtown College
Sara Sanders, University of Iowa


In a pilot study, a population of gay and lesbian elders were surveyed to determine what types of long term plans they have made in preparation for their old age, what types of information they feel service providers need to know to better meet their long-term needs, and what is their perception of aging. The results of this pilot study demonstrated that almost three-fourths of the total sample have started to make plans for growing old. The respondents reported that social workers needed to be more knowledgeable about gay lifestyles and the importance of their partners. It was also found that the views of aging became more positive as the gay and lesbian individuals grow older. © 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.