A silver lining: How COVID-19 presents an opportunity to improve care for older lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults

May 2021 | Sarah MacCarthy, Biayna Darabidian, Debra Saliba, Marc Elliott

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted older adults. Structural barriers, like limited legal rights that only allow will planning and durable power of attorney for biological family members, as well as biological factors, like higher obesity rates, likely present additional risks for older sexual minority adults in particular. Here, a silver lining of the pandemic may be for researchers, policy makers, and advocates to collaborate and revolutionize the provision of culturally competent care for older sexual minority adults, sooner rather than later.”

The study, based on a review of articles, reports, and commentaries, looked at what is known about culturally competent care for older sexual minority adults. Culturally competent care generally includes a provider’s awareness, skills, attitudes, and understanding of their patients’ culture. It may also include ‘cultural humility, providers going beyond providing care to try to understand patients’ daily experiences.