Gay Boomers and nursing attitudes - page 2

I read an interestiing article, in the NYT, today. Apparently the first wave of gay boomers have begun to hit our LTC, Assisted Living, home health agencies. And more and more of them are being... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    About the woman on the cruise whose partner was denied access to her....

    If anyone is in a strange area, and has someone that cares about them, in our hospital that person is welcome to visit. Living will or not. Sometimes we have barred partners during codes/ procedures, but that would be same sex and heterosexual as well. I thought sexual orientation was federally protected as far as discrimination and hospitals had no choice about it?
  2. by   czyja
    Quote from cmo421
    Nurses have an obligation to look after their population of pt's as a whole.I appreciate the basics of ur writing but if gays must look after gays,then catholics must look after catholics,jews to jews, ....we have a responsibility to everyone in our focus of care. I do not think we need to know the sexual orientation of anyone,just treat them fairly as their family,whomever they may be!
    Thank you for your thoughtfull reply. I agree that nurses must look after all of their clients and I certainly dont advocate the balkanization of care along religious/sexual/ethnic lines. I do however think that queer nurses might be more likely to see a discrimination/isolation problem that might otherwise elude a straight nurse. And certainly feel that queer youth in all professions must serve as advocates for their elders.
  3. by   SpiceChick01
    I think it is awful that someone would be discriminated against for any reason, but PARTICULARLY in healthcare. It seems such a violation of what the profession is all about, IMO. I could care less what anyone's color, religion, OR sexual preference is, they deserve quality care and treatment when it is needed. And the thought of that lady dying alone really makes me sad. No one should be subjected to poor healthcare options or have to die alone regardless of what anyone thinks about what they are doing in their bedroom, or what color they are, or what their religion may be. Just my $19.20.
  4. by   indigo girl
    Quote from canoehead

    I thought sexual orientation was federally protected as far as discrimination and hospitals had no choice about it?
    It certainly would be nice to believe it.

    If gays do not have the legal right to marry, then their partnerships do not
    carry any legitimacy in most states. As it stands, it is left to the common
    decency of human beings to honor each other's emotional ties. In a more
    perfect world, it would not be an issue, but we do not live in that kind of

    I always admired in your face kind of groups such as Queer Nation for their
    brave stance. Being out against all odds is very empowering, and it has gotten
    people killed, but so has even the perception of being gay. Many of us
    have lost friends and family members violently because of homophobia.

    Naming homophobia for what it is when it appears is a powerful act.
    If we look away, and do not speak out against it, then we become part of the problem.

    We can help most by accepting other people for who they are, honoring
    their relationships, and standing up for them when necessary.

    Love is love even if it looks different to us. Thanks for the thread, Woody.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 10, '07
  5. by   leslie :-D
    i couldn't find any articles citing actual discrimination in ltc, but did find many that talked about the gay boomers fears of growing old...

    to me, it is very clear-cut.
    we are to care for all human beings, equally, with dignity and integrity.

  6. by   cmo421
    Here is a link I found regarding the same sex family going on the cruise. An eye opener for sure . Depending on where u live is how one is treated. Care givers are not always nice people.
  7. by   indigo girl
    Thank you for posting that link. What a terrible tragedy.
  8. by   woody62
    Quote from cmo421
    Here is a link I found regarding the same sex family going on the cruise. An eye opener for sure . Depending on where u live is how one is treated. Care givers are not always nice people.
    I wish I could say I am surprised but after having lived in Florida, for all most twenty-five years, I am not. Back in 1987 I had a young man, who I was providing case management for a WC injury, whom I visited in his apartment. After several visits, I arrived to find him laying in a bed, dehydrated, running a temperature, in a soiled bed and in desperate need of hospitalization. I carried a stethoscope and had a blood pressure cuff, in my car, and took his, as well as listened to his lungs. He had pneumonia and that was when he shared with me he had AIDS. I told him not to worry, I was going to call 911 and have him transported to the local hospital. I called 911, told them who I was, that i need a rescue squad and gave them the address. Much to my surprise, the dispatcher told me that no rescue squad would be coming and not to transport him to the ER. "They all knew what he had". I had to call all over SW Florida to find a hospital and a doctor who would accept him. Sarasota Memorial accepted him. And I transported him, in my car. I will admit that I double bagged the sheets and blanket I transported him on and discarded them, a SMH. I visited him several times but it die a short time later.

    Angry doesn't say how mad I was. Health care professionals refusing to come to the aid of an sick individual because of his diagnoses. I could have understood if it was 1982 or 1983 but 1987. I can only blame it on the views of our government, at that time.

    For a health care professional to post on this board that gays should take care of their own shows a total lack of understanding, to say the least. And a total lack of compassion.:angryfire

  9. by   kanzi monkey
    [QUOTE=woody62;2441403]I don't know if you read the article or not but the fact that you believe there are no gay individuals living in your nursing homes or assisted living facilities just points out one very clear thing, they are more then likely afraid to admit to their sexual orientation.

    I think that this is the point that Noryn is trying to make

    But I also agree with the poster who says that recognizing sexual orientation absolutely is relevant to giving good nursing care. It's like, if I were to say I was "color blind" and treated all my patients the same, I would either
    a) be a robot
    b) inadvertently attribute the care I give to my own cultural background, which is inherently biased.

    for example, a transgender woman once told me that it is, in fact, not so fun to be a lady having to discuss her prostate with her HCP. We might say "but it's your prostate! we HAVE to discuss it!"--which is true, but not actually a culturally competent way of caring for this pt.

    I recently had a pt. with HIV as a post-op. When I first heard report on him, the nurse taking the pt asked how the pt got HIV--totally relevant question. The nurse reporting said she didn't know but he "looked like he might be one of those IV drug types--not to be judgemental or anything" --totally IRrelevant answer

    Then I got the pt later that day. He was emaciated--very sick. In a lot of pain. Quiet--almost stoic. Grateful for anything I could do to make him comfortable. The nurse who had taken him in the morning (pre-op then) says to me "he does look like that type doesn't he?" I said "he looks emaciated, very sick, in a lot of pain" She said "I know, but that hair and beard, you know?"

    Short answer--no. I don't.

    The patient got to the floor just before I was leaving for the day, so I never got to look at his chart to find out how and when he acquired HIV--the answer to that question will provide us nurses with valuable information regarding the pt's health history, other risk factors, and possibly clue us in to services he may need once he has recovered from the immediate post-op period. That's how I would treat him differently from others--by addressing concerns that he might actually have. As far as "knowing how" simply so we can assume things about his life, his lifestyle, his world--THAT is no one's job.
  10. by   canoehead
    Oh. My. God.

    For the person that posted that cruise story, thanks for the link.

    And for what it's worth, if someone comes into the hospital, and they have someone that cares enough about them to want to be by their side, I personally would be delighted to have them there, and to teach, or support. Delays may occur if the patient refuses (I'll work on them a bit), or chaos ensues in that room, but eventually it WILL happen.

    I can't believe someone would have the gall to try that in this day and age. I can't believe someone didn't clue in and override the first SW's decision. And then with proper paperwork, and the blood family consenting, they still delayed bringing in the people that COULD visit? Hell.

    Did the social worker get reported to his licensing board?
  11. by   Noryn
    Quote from woody62
    I don't know if you read the article or not but the fact that you believe there are no gay individuals living in your nursing homes or assisted living facilities just points out one very clear thing, they are more then likely afraid to admit to their sexual orientation.

    When I started nursing school, in 1964, I had two male classmates. One was gay and the other was straight but you couldn't ell by looking at them or listening to them talk or even observing their behavior. Our psychology professor began picking on the male student nurses, in his class, insinuating that they were gay. I was only eighteen and I didn't know what they term gay stood for, so I asked, the one gay student from my school. He told me and he told me he was gay. I was appalled. I was appalled further when this professor began making inappropriate comments about me. So we were both recipients of his inappropriate comments. The only difference, now, is that if I go into a nursing home or an assisted living I don't have to be concerned, my former classmate does.

    I live in a community of approximately 150,000 year round residents, here in SW Florida. I am sure there are gay men and women living here. I am also sure that most are not out about their sexual orientation because of the general community attitude. My own SIL has a negative attitude concerning gays and his was born and raised in the south

    I am sorry but your comment about there being no gays in your working community is at best, very closed eyed.

    My humor must have been a bit too dry. My first sentence was referring to Ahmadenijad, president of Iran who said that about 2 weeks ago while in New York when asked about Iran executing homosexual. If you read my entire post I make it clear that there are gay boomers already in the nursing home but most choose to hide it because of fear or embarassment.
  12. by   Noryn
    Quote from czyja
    Are you sure there are no queer folks living in your facility? I think this is the point of the the NY Times article. When you say "We do not have this phenomenon" I suspect you meant that you do not have out gay residents that are isolated by other residents. But perhaps you have queer residents that are afraid to be out.

    You do not make it point of letting your healthcare provider know that you are straight because it is expected that you are. Gays and lesbians, however, sometimes have different health needs from straight people. And in a LTC environment they most definately have different needs.While I very much agree with you that people should not be discriminated against because of their sexuality I disagree when you suggest that sexual orientation does not matter - it very much does.
    See my above post, I was referring to Ahmadenijad or however you spell his name. I do not work in a facility anymore btw.

    I do have a few questions though. What are the different health needs a gay boomer would need? What are the different needs in a LTC environment that a straight person would not need? I personally feel that sexual orientation doesnt matter--in the end we all need relationships, stable support systems, respect and love--gay or straight.
  13. by   cmo421

    I am not sure who was reported or not. I am sure that there is some type of legal action or I would hope. I do know that some states have enacted laws based on this story to prevent it from happening again. This is a link to the families site where more info is available.