The LGBTQ+ community may face particular challenges related to Alzheimer's and dementia. These include finding inclusive and welcoming health care providers, less ability to call upon adult children for assistance, concerns about stigma and higher rates of poverty and social isolation.
Dementia and the LGBTQ+ community
These documents from the Alzheimer's Association describe the issues that members of the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones experience and offer guidance for navigating these challenges.
- Issues Brief: LGBTQ+ and Dementia (PDF), a collaboration with SAGE, outlines specific issues of concern related to LGBTQ+ people with dementia, including stigma, family composition, poverty and social isolation.
- LGBTQ+ Older Adults and Dementia (PDF) is a guide for LGBTQ+ community members living with Alzheimer's or other dementia.
- This infographic on the LGBTQ+ community (PDF) and dementia includes important information about the LGBTQ+ community and dementia, including data about the challenges members of the community face accessing care.
- ALZPride: Voices of the LGBTQ+ Community is a panel discussion featuring Clint Kershaw, diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in 2017 at age 56, and his partner, Jeff, sharing how they navigate this disease together; Reynaldo Mireles from SAGE describing their work in communities, particularly communities of color; and Dan Stewart from HRC (Human Rights Campaign), discussing progress toward becoming more trans-inclusive and how the Long-Term Care Equality Index promotes equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ older adults in senior housing. See or download the video. Passcode: D%F$V3WQ
At the Alzheimer's Association, we believe that diverse perspectives are critical to achieving health equity — meaning that all communities have a fair and just opportunity for early diagnosis and access to risk reduction and quality care. The Association is committed
to engaging underrepresented and underserved communities and responding with resources and education to address the disproportionate impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia
Caregiver resources for LGBTQ+ community members
Members of the LGBTQ+ community who are spouses, partners and family members caring for someone living with Alzheimer's may also face challenges in finding culturally sensitive care, support networks and other resources.
Resources for LGBTQ+ community members
The Alzheimer's Association, its national partners
and other organizations provide resources for members of the LBGTQ+ community who are living with Alzheimer's and other dementia. On our national blog, Dan Stewart of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation shares how the Human Rights Campaign is partnering with the Association
to help ensure aging LGBTQ+ elders have access to Alzheimer’s information and resources.
- ALZConnected® is a free online community for people living with dementia and their caregivers. It includes a forum specifically for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to connect with one another.
- SAGE, one of our national partners, is a national advocacy and services organization for LGBTQ+ elders. It provides resources on housing, long term care, discrimination and more issues that LGBTQ+ older adults face.
- SAGE operates the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, which is the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender older adults. It also provides listings of local resources.
- SAGECare provides training on culturally competent care for LGBTQ+ older adults, including modules on LGBTQ+ people and dementia and training for memory care providers.
- The SAGE National LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline connects older adults with resources: 877.360.LGBT (5428)
- The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association advocates for health equity and provides a directory of health care providers for those seeking a LGBTQ+-friendly doctor or other health professional.
- Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
Clinical study findings from the Alzheimer's Association
There is relatively little clinical research on the LGBTQ+ community and Alzheimer's and other dementia, but more researchers are exploring these important and neglected issues.
- Members of the LGBTQ+ community face an increased risk of subjective cognitive decline compared to cisgender heterosexual Americans. NPR covered this finding.
- The first large scale study of dementia among LGBTQ+ adults ages 60-plus found a 7.4% prevalence rate.
- Research Inclusion Supports Equity (RISE) is a research study being conducted by Emory University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The RISE study includes a research registry created to help ensure the LGBTQ+ community is represented in Alzheimer’s research.