The subtleties and complexities of ageing as an LGBT+ person can add a layer to the general anxieties of ageing experienced by many. Concerns such as lack of independence, deteriorating health, losing home, losing faculties, isolation, losing a partner, losing dignity and privacy may be exacerbated by expected and experienced discrimination, physical violence and abuse because of sexual identity, negative experience of authority/professionals, learned deception, secret/forbidden lives and more.
In the autumn of 2020, the (national) LGBT+ Switchboard reported a 24% increase in the numbers of people contacting their service and a 42% increase in calls from transgender or non-conforming individuals.
The severity and reach of Covid-19 presents very real concerns that practice to address equalities and inclusion will remain low on agendas beyond the days of emergency response.
In May 2020, The LGBT Foundation published Hidden Figures: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on LGBT Communities – the largest and most substantive research of its kind in the UK. This research has uncovered some of the wide-ranging and profound effects the pandemic has had on the lives of LGBT+ people in areas such as mental health; isolation; substance misuse; eating disorders; living in unsafe environments; financial impact; homelessness; access to healthcare and support.