As Long as They Keep Away From Me: Attitudes Toward Non-heterosexual Sexual Orientation Among Residents Living in Spanish Residential Aged Care Facilities

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Abstract

Purpose of the Study:

The purpose of this article is to shed light on the attitudes of older people living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) toward non-heterosexual sexual orientation.

Design and Methods:

Forty-seven residents living in 5 RACFs located in Catalonia (Spain) were interviewed in relation to the way they would think and react if another resident told them he/she felt sexually attracted to people of the same gender and that he/she had maintained sexual relationships with another man/woman in the home, and whether they would have any problem in sharing common spaces or a room with this resident.

Results:

Most residents expressed some kind of negative reaction ranging from staying away from the resident in question to extreme rejection, although positive and neutral reactions also emerged. Participants were far more reluctant to share a room with that resident than to share common spaces.

Implications:

The prevalence of homophobic attitudes among older people living in RACFs seems to be high. This may be a barrier for LGB residents, making the expression of their sexual identity more difficult and leading to discriminatory practices.

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