‘It’s a nice country but it’s not mine’: exploring the meanings attached to home, rurality and place for older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults

Paul Willis, Michele Raithby, Tracey Maegusuku-Hewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An ageing population across European nations, including the UK, brings with it new challenges for health and social care services and precipitates social policy initiatives targeted at meeting the care and support needs of a rapidly expanding number of older people. Ageing in place is one such policy driver - policy efforts that seek to promote the maintenance of older citizens residing in their own homes for as long as possible with minimal state intervention. Current generations of older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people have endured homophobia throughout their life-histories and sexual identity can shape perceptions and experiences of ageing, including experiences of home-life, community and place. Our objective is to examine the meanings attached to home and place for older LGB adults living independently across three dimensions: rural places as ‘home’; connections to LGB communities; and, social care provision in the home. We present interview findings from a mixed-methods study on the social inclusion of older LGB adults in Wales. Twenty-nine LGB-identifying adults (50-76 years) self-selected to participate in semi-structured interviews between 2012 to 2013. Thematic findings from interviews indicate varying and contradictory meanings attached to home-life in rural places, the importance of connection to communities of identity across geographical and online localities, and a high degree of ambivalence towards the prospect of receiving social care services in the home. We argue that a more nuanced understanding of the subjective meanings attached to home, rurality and community for older LGB people is needed to fully support LGB citizens to continue to live independently in their homes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-916
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume26
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • LGBT
  • Ageing
  • Older Adults
  • Home
  • Rurality
  • Social care

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