Roger, thanks so much for this article.
Wow! What a rollercoaster of a life you have had, with not only one partner having fallen to a horrendous illness, but two. And you’ve supported both of them in the most difficult of circumstances.
Today my partner and I delivered our Living Wills to our GP. One of the things it stipulates is that we never wish to be parted, that we would prefer to die. But we know that even though we’ve done this, there’s no guarantee. Things can awry when dreadful illness descends, or when both partners are involved in a serious accident, or an unsympathetic doctor or medical team take charge.
It’s all rather worrying territory up ahead, and, as you say, it’s likely to come to all of us in the end, so, as you say, we need to take action now, while we can.
Your having co-founded the LGBT support group of The Alzheimer’s Society is an inspiration. Well done, and thanks again for the article.
A thoroughly enlightening article. Very pleased that PN published it.
Thank you Roger…at 54yo I know that care in my older years is going to become a more prominent issue. My partner of 8 years is quite a lot younger at 40yo but life holds no guarantees and so I worry what will happen if I become ill. I remember watching the documentary ”Gen Silent” and crying in equal amounts. http://www.gensilent.com
Thank-you Mcshaney for posting the link to gensilent. No guarantees in life unfortunately. But it is across society, people care or they don’t, straight or gay, sadly.
Right now gensilent.com will not load. But have learnt something about it from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen_Silent
I’d like to see it. Looking ahead to the future, my partner and I have wondered how a gay or lesbian couple in the UK would fare if they applied to purchase an apartment in a retirement village.
OK. before some people jump on me and say “Why would you ever want to go near a gated retirement village!”, there’s a great deal to be said for them. Just because at the moment they are occupied by fairly well-off white Brits, single or with wives or husbands, it doesn’t mean to say that they could not also provided a safe, secure, and friendly environment for aging gays and lesbians.
I really would be interested to hear if any gay or lesbian couples have succeeded in establishing themselves in one of the many retirement villages here in the UK.
IF NOT, then we have yet another right to fight for – even if we don’t ALL want to enjoy it. We have a right to it.
Thanks Roger, for sharing, after going through so much. We must make sure this message gets through to MPs as well. We must put pressure on the government to ensure protection of LGBT people in the healthcare system… though the way the present government is wielding an axe to everything, I am not optimistic at all….
It is good to see that these sort of topics are mentioned from time to time.
The only thing that concerns me here is both the writer and many of the commentators here are in relationships, whereas I would imagine the vast majority of gay people remain single in the in old age, and may not have family or friends to look after them, or even recognise the symptoms of geriatric conditions or illnesses.
I imagine elderly LGBT people are probably one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.
I read this article with much interest, and sadness that things like this have happened. I work for a care company and we are proud to treat each and every person as the individual they are, respecting their choice and dignity. It is your basic human right to be the unique person you are, we can’t treat everyone the same, and if they were, what a boring world that would be!
Enjoyed it. Check out what we’re doing in Clearwater for gay senior living. Check us out at lambdaclearwater.blogspot.com