Isolation is particularly common among people aged 50+ and research indicates that LGBT people aged 50+ are at increased risk of isolation compared to their heterosexual and cis counterparts.

Feelings of isolation can be influenced by a number of factors including:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Lack of community or family support
  • Health concerns
  • Financial restraints
  • Long term health conditions

Research conducted by LGBT Foundation revealed that half of LGB respondents lived alone, 40% were single and 12% said that they had no one they could turn to if they needed support.

Previous negative experiences such as family rejection can mean that LGBT people are less likely to have a support network of parents, siblings or children and instead rely on friends within LGBT communities.

‘I have a strong number of friends around me, but as I get older they too will die and I may be left isolated’

Even accessing LGBT affirmative spaces can be problematic for LGBT people over 50. In 2018, Stonewall found that 21% of LGBT people aged 55-64 and 28% of LGBT people aged 65+ have experienced discrimination or poor treatment because of their age in the local LGBT communities.

This could, in part, be because a large proportion of social and safe spaces for LGBT people are bars, clubs and events catering for single people under the age of 50.

LGBT Foundation’s research shows that a third of older LGBT people highlighted isolation as a concern or expressed a desire to meet others. To reduce isolation, Pride in Ageing’s Come OUT with Us campaign offers a range of events to meet new people, make connections and build skills and confidence for LGBT people over 50.

If you are experiencing poor mental health in relation to isolation, check out the resources in our wellbeing hub here.
You can also check out Rainbow Brew Buddies - our telephone befriending programme that aims to reduce loneliness for LGBT people across Greater Manchester.