Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among the LGBTQ Community: What Justice Professionals Need to Know

Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among LGBTQ Community: What Justice Professionals Need to Know
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-06-30
Unit 1Slide Deck: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among LGBTQ Community
Unit 2Transcript: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among LGBTQ Community
Unit 3Workbook: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among LGBTQ Community
Unit 4Recording: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among LGBTQ Community

Webinar Video Clip: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among the LGBTQ Community.


Life can be tough when you’re on the fringe, and for LGBT Elders, this feeling is too real. They go through the same experience of aging, but a little more daunting because of their identity or sexual preference. This becomes even more complex if they become entangled in the elder justice system.

This session’s instructors are Bonnie Olsen and Sherill Wayland. Bonnie is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience as a geropsychologist. She is involved in research and other initiatives at the Keck School of Medicine at USC where she is the Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Family Medicine. Meanwhile, Sherill is the Director of National Education Initiatives at Sage where she leads its efforts on LGBT Aging.

Together, they provided a comprehensive discussion on the plight of LGBT older adults, tackling topics like:

  • An overview of the work and mission of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and Sage.
  • A look at the statistics of LGBT older adults, how society has changed its perspective around LGBT topics, and the experiences of this segment of the population.
  • A glimpse into the risk factors for elder abuse, particularly for LGBT elders who have history of victimization and discrimination.
  • A look at the issues that hinder LGBT older adults from seeking help based on their fears, dependencies, beliefs, and values.
  • The isolation that LGBT elders suffer – how this creates vulnerability and impacts their behavior, and how this is intensified in the time of COVID.
  • LGBT elder abuse and the greater risk they’re subjected to because of the disadvantages and discrimination that the LGBT community experience.
  • The different types of elder abuse and the impact of COVID-19 to perpetration and reporting of abuse and neglect.
  • Case studies that demonstrate the dynamics involved in the abuse of LGBT elders.
  • Guidelines to observe when it comes to responding to and investigating LGBT elder abuse that requires better sensitivity to and understanding of their circumstances.
  • Trauma-informed care principles that aim to help service providers better engage and collaborate with clients/victims/survivors.
  • Practical tips for organizations to better integrate inclusivity in their operations through policies, communication, training, and outreach.
  • Various resources to report, access support, and raise awareness on abuse of LGBT older adults.

Webinar attendees had questions concerning on:

  • How geriatricians can help raise awareness on this issue.
  • Availability of resources for non-English speakers.
  • Initiatives to share information about this topic to assisted living and long-term care facilities.
  • Resources for LGBT-friendly medical providers.
  • Greater representation of LGBT elders in the justice system by getting them as volunteers.



Other Upcoming Elder Abuse Webinars in this Series:


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “The BEST elder abuse info EVER!! Loved the handouts!!” — Andrea
  • “Great information and good presenters.” — Carrie
  • “Excellent Presentation and Speaker!! Hope to hear more like this again.” — Christine
  • “It was a fine presentation. Being an APS worker, it taught me more specifically on what ails certain communities.” — Dillon
  • “I felt it broadened my eyes to various challenges experienced by the Elder LGBTQ community. Thank you for the information!” — Jeremiah
  • “A great topic that isn’t talked about enough.” — Karyn
  • “Great webinar, thank you. Fantastic resources shared that I had never heard of. I will definitely be recommending this recording and the shared resources to my colleagues and partner agencies.” — Megan



Additional Resources
3 years ago
After the Webinar: Increased Risks for Elder Abuse among the LGBTQ Community. Q&A with the Presenters
Webinar presenters Sherrill Wayland and Bonnie Olsen answered a number of your questions after their […]
4 years ago
How to Talk about Elder Abuse
How we are communicating is just as important as the message we’re trying to convey. This is espec […]
5 years ago
Investigating Financial Exploitation of Older and Vulnerable Adults
Financial exploitation of older adults is occurring more and more across the United States.  Despit […]
5 years ago
Growing and Nurturing Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Teams
Peg Horan and Lindsay Calamia are back on Justice Clearinghouse for the second part of their webinar […]
5 years ago
Five Things to Know When Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Sexual Violence Survivors
Sexual violence perpetrators specifically look for vulnerability when targeting potential victims. D […]