Re-engage has launched a research project to engage directly with older lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender, or other non-cisgender (LGBT+) people.
This important research will help us develop new services and activities that support this group to make meaningful connections in later life and alleviate loneliness.
We’re asking anyone aged 70 or older who identifies as LGBT+ and would like to take part in this important piece of research to complete our survey or participate in a telephone interview.
Why our research is so important
You are also less likely to have intergenerational relationships and children, which can often lead to your ‘family of choice’ (often made up of people of a similar age), sadly dwindling or increasingly unable to support as you age together.
The pandemic has increased feelings of loneliness
More recent research has shown that the pandemic has exacerbated some of the social challenges faced by older LGBT+ people.
Many have reported feeling more lonely and socially isolated since the lockdown. For example, some say they’ve had no one locally to support with basic necessities because their friends and LGBT+ community are geographically dispersed.
All of these factors can lead to an increased risk of social isolation and loneliness.
Organised groups and services can help
Indeed, those older LGBT+ people who form social networks through these groups and services, particularly with other older LGBT+ people, are often “cushioned from feeling isolated and lonely”.
Our research focuses on the ‘older old’
While the existing research is very insightful, it is largely focused on LGBT+ people aged 50 and above. As a result, there is a distinct lack of understanding about the specific needs and experiences of the ‘oldest old’.
In response to this, our exciting research will focus on LGBT+ people aged 70 and older. The findings will help us to develop new services and activities that help build social connections and companionship within this group.
Help us deliver life-changing services
If you are aged 70 or older, identify as LGBT+ and wish to take part in this important piece of research, please do get in touch.
You don’t need to have experience of loneliness or social isolation to take part; we want to hear from people with a wide range of needs and experiences.
You can support our research in the following ways:
As loneliness and social isolation continues to blight the lives of increasing numbers of older people, we are determined to leave no one behind.
Statement from Re-engage as restrictions start lifting
We hope that the re-start will bring a great deal of joy to the lives of older people and volunteers alike and that we can all share responsibility for keeping others safe.
Celebrating 50 Years in Scotland
To celebrate our anniversary, we speak to Sharon, our tea party host in Fife, who also became a call companion coordinator last year.