Abuse of older LGBTQI people in long-term care - what can be done?

Abuse of older LGBTQI people in long-term care - what can be done? Abuse of older LGBTQI people in long-term care - what can be done?

February 9, 20181 min read

Martha Wetzel, a 70-year old lesbian, has accused a suburban Chicago long-term care home of not intervening when she experienced abuse due to her sexual identity. In what may turn into a landmark case for tenants and housing rights, an appeal court heard her arguments earlier this year.

Wetzel moved into the Glen Saint Andrew Living Community in 2013, after her long-term partner died. While living there, she experienced many forms of abuse from other residents including being spat on and struck, as well as homophobic verbal attacks like "homosexuals will burn in hell."

The lawsuit was originally thrown out last year after a trial-judge stated, that despite what was said, there was not "any discriminatory animus, motive or, intent" shown by the administrators themselves.

However, protections for LGBT tenants harassed by other tenants could be established under the Fair Housing Act if the appeals court chooses to reopen Wetzel's case.

What can be done to protect older LGBTQI people living in long-term care? How can they live safely and free from oppression?

While the court decides on its ruling, IFA Experts can help weigh-in. The Expert Centre has several experts who can speak to the inequalities experienced by certain populations, including older LGBTQI people, within long-term care homes. Simply click on one of their icons to arrange an interview.


Connect with:
  • Prof. Marie Beaulieu
    Prof. Marie Beaulieu Professor, School of Social Work

    Marie Beulaieu is a professor at the department of social services of the faculty of letters and humanities of the Université de Sherbrooke.

  • Dr. Stephen E. Judd
    Dr. Stephen E. Judd Chief Executive

    Dr. Stephen E. Judd's studies contribute to dementia care, aged care design and the role of charities in contemporary Australian society.

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