Experiences and Attitudes of the LGBTQ+ Community on Care/Nursing Homes


Laura Skeldon
University of Warwick


Recent research has found that older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people have a negative attitude towards care/nursing homes and are concerned about facing discrimination based on their sexuality and gender identity. This study aims to build upon current understanding by reviewing research into the LGBTQ+ communities’ perspectives and experiences of care/nursing homes. Additionally, I sought to explore the attitudes of care/nursing home staff towards providing care for LGBTQ+ residents. Based on these findings, recommendations for improvements will then be made.

A systematic review was conducted by carrying out a database search on Medline, Web of Science and Embase. The following terms were included in the search, “Sexual and Gender Minorities” OR “Homosexuality or Homosexuality, Female or Homosexuality, Male or Bisexuality or Transgender person or Transsexualism” OR (LGBTQ+ or lesbian or transgender or queer or bisexual or pansexual or gay) AND “Homes for Aged OR Nursing Homes OR Care Homes or Residential Facilities OR Long Term-Care” AND “Older or Elderly”. Following this, themes where identified by extracting and categorising the data.

The LGBTQ+ community had a negative perception of care/nursing homes. They were concerned that they would have to conceal their identity, experience abuse and become socially isolated. This could be tackled by introducing initiatives to promote inclusivity. Most staff had a positive attitude towards LGBTQ+ residents, but there were significant exceptions to this. Despite their positive attitude, staff often lacked awareness on LGBTQ+ issues.

 Key messages

Care/nursing homes are not welcoming for LGBTQ+ people as they perceived to be heterosexual environments. Staff require more training on LGBTQ+ issues to adequately support their LGBQT+ residents. Additional training would encourage staff to engage their residents in conversations about sexuality and gender identity.

December 30, 2020