Robert Beringer (University of Victoria), Max Kleijberg (Karolinska Institute, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Nursing)
In this roundtable discussion, we invite Summit’s participants to join us in designing a research agenda focusing on investigating the social needs of older 2SLGBTQ+ people nearing the end-of-life, and finding ways in which 2SLGBTQ+ can be supported and empowered to live authentically in old age, at the end-of-life, and in bereavement. End-of-life issues concerning sexual and gender minorities have been researched in the past in relation to HIV and AIDS, but little is known about contemporary issues facing 2SLGBTQ+ people at the end-of-life. Involuntary loneliness and lack of community support is more prevalent among older 2SLGBTQ+ people compared with their heterosexual peers, in part due to chronic stress through stigmatization and lack of supportive intergenerational relationships and subcultural spaces. Little is known about social needs of older 2SLGBTQ+ people, particularly those receiving formal care and/or nearing the end-of-life, as research is often biased towards heteronormative relationships. Based on a health promotion approach to palliative and end-of-life care, the “compassionate communities” movement seeks to strengthen community action in relation to aging, dying, death, loss, and care, particularly for those with intersecting vulnerabilities. However, 2SLGBTQ+ people have not yet received much attention in this field or in related research. In this roundtable discussion we invite participants to share challenges facing 2SLGBTQ+ at the end-of-life as well as experiences and lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss ways in which community-based and participatory action research approaches can effectively address these challenges.