Understanding the Role of Virtual Outreach and Programming for LGBT Individuals in Later Life

Anyah Prasad, Michael Immel, Alice Fisher, Timothy M. Hale, Kamal Jethwani, Amanda J. Centi, Bob Linscott, Kathrin Boerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to health disparities LGBT older adults may have more health care needs, but they are likely to have less informal sources of support. While efforts have been made to serve LGBT older adults, traditional forms of in person outreach and service may still be inaccessible to those living in rural areas, with restricted mobility, due to lack of transportation, during inclement weather, or in public health situations as the Covid-19 pandemic. We conducted focus group discussions to understand the role of virtual outreach in serving LGBT individuals’ needs in their later years of life. Study participants expressed a desire for dating, community, aging in place, and affirming health care. However, their experience of internalized and institutional homophobia and ageism may act as barriers in fulfilling those needs. A dedicated virtual space has the potential to overcome these barriers by facilitating online get-togethers, support groups, dating events, having coming out resources, and exchanging information on LGBT friendly health services. Having a space to express their generativity may make such virtual services more empowering. Lack of technological access and privacy concerns may hinder the use of virtual services but can be overcome with training and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-781
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022


  • ICT
  • LGBT
  • Technology
  • aging
  • internet
  • virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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