Forum held addressing discrimination in healthcare against LBGTQ+ patients and caregivers
The Ohio Alzheimer’s Association held a forum this week to discuss disparities in health care for the LGBTQ+ community. It addressed the fear of discrimination in healthcare for those who are struggling from Alzheimer’s or are Alzheimer’s caregivers in the LGBTQ+ community.
Experts there say when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, LGBTQ+ discrimination from healthcare providers affects both patients and their caregivers.
John Cummings is the Board Chair for Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton. He says he experienced discrimination when caring for his mother with Alzheimer’s.
“People will talk about their issues of caring for a partner, caring for a spouse or caring for any loved one as a gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender person they are judged and sometimes dismissed," Cummings said.
The Ohio Alzheimer’s Association said fear of discrimination or judgement from healthcare providers can prevent patients and their caregivers from seeking professional help for their medical problems.
Using Polls and group discussion, the Alzheimer's Association asked attendees for their insights and feedback on how to break down barriers to access to health care in the LGBTQ+ community. Amanda Cole is the Executive Director of the Plexus LGBT+ and Allied Chamber of Commerce in northeast Ohio. She said that one of the hidden barriers to caregiving in the LGBTQ+ community is gender stereotypes.
"For us in the [LGBTQ+] community we can kind of be dismissed, or those like stereotypes, they might not fit on how we form our loving relationships or how we form care and support," Cole said.
The Alzheimer’s Association says they are planning to expand their resources in Ohio to meet the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Resources and information about local support groups and helplines are available at alz.org.