Seniors focus on elder abuse in LGBTQ community

A Simon Fraser University professor is shedding light on an often overlooked problem: elder abuse in the LGBTQ community.

Jen Marchband, a gender, sexuality and women’s studies professor, is hosting a presentation on the subject for the Voices of Burnaby Seniors on Oct. 18.

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“Seniors have a gender and sexual identity that needs to be respected. We need to have services that are sensitive to that. We need to ensure that when people go into care facilities, the services recognize who they are,” Marchband said.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer seniors may be facing specific vulnerabilities, Marchband explained. That could be discrimination from family, or caregivers or fellow care home residents. Some seniors could be facing violence in same-sex relationships.

“When I’m talking to seniors, I may be raising issues around elder abuse that are sensitive to them or they may be living through,” Marchband said. “We have to really careful and have resources on hand.”

Voices of Burnaby Seniors holds regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month.

Marchband’s presentation is on Oct. 18 at the Bill Copeland Sports Complex, at 3676 Kensington Ave., from 10 a.m. to noon in the Lakeview Room. The meetings are free and open to all seniors. For more information, visit www.burnabyseniors.org/voices-of-burnaby-seniors.

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