A Qualitative Exploration of Housing Expectations of Gay and Lesbian Individuals as they Age

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A Qualitative Exploration of Housing Expectations of Gay and Lesbian Individuals as they Age

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The housing concerns of senior gay and lesbian persons have not been well researched or explored and nearly all published articles that do exist acknowledged that gaps exist in current understandings. Many researchers of housing for seniors were self-critical of these deficiencies. This paper sought to answer the questions: What are the housing expectations and aspirations of gay and lesbian people as they age? What resources do they identify that make their aspirations achievable? What constraints may hinder their realization of their housing aspirations? How does their current housing situation shape their approach to these questions? Qualitative analysis of 15 interviews revealed six themes that were common among participants. Participants placed high value on their sexual orientation being respected and valued in their community. This recognition was especially crucial if they were to receive in home care or enter a retirement facility. The value of privacy and independence was a priority for participants, sometimes sacrificing financially to ensure their desires were fulfilled. The importance of community connections was regarded highly for its social merit as well as its contribution to networks of assistance that could aid in the demands of aging. The physical accessibility of the home was a topic that was confronted by all participants. The impact of wealth and privilege revealed that the LGBT community is not a monolith; different segments have different challenges. Finally, in consideration of future challenges, many participants had not considered and/or denied their impending aging and associated life changes.


University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. SEptember 2016. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Becky Yust. 1 computer file (PDF); ii, 76 pages.

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Urness, Michael. (2016). A Qualitative Exploration of Housing Expectations of Gay and Lesbian Individuals as they Age. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/185573.

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