End-of-life care and planning Research

End-of-Life Preparations Among LGBT Older Canadian Adults: The Missing Conversations


Brian de Vries, Gloria Gutman, Aine Humble, Jacqueline Gahagan, Line Chamberland, Patrick Aubert, Janet Fast, Steven Mock


June 2019


LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) older adults are more likely than their heterosexual peers to age with limited support in stigmatizing environments often poorly served by traditional social services challenging their preparedness for end of life. Fourteen focus groups and three individual interviews were conducted in five Canadian cities with gay/bisexual men (5 groups; 40 participants), lesbian/bisexual women (5 groups; 29 participants), and transgender persons (3 interviews, 4 groups; 24 participants). Four superordinate themes were identified: (a) motivators and obstacles, (b) relationship concerns, (c) dynamics of LGBT culture and lives, and (d) institutional concerns. Several pressing issues emerged including depression and isolation (more common among gay and bisexual men), financial/class issues (lesbian and bisexual women), and uncomfortable interactions with health-care providers (transgender participants). These findings highlight the challenges and complexities in end-of-life preparation within LGBT communities.


de Vries, B., Gutman, G., Humble, Á., Gahagan, J., Chamberland, L., Aubert, P., Fast, J., & Mock, S. (2019). End-of-Life Preparations Among LGBT Older Canadian Adults: The Missing Conversations. International journal of aging & human development, 88(4), 358–379.

Open Access