In 2018 AARP commissioned “A National Survey of Adults 45 and Older: Loneliness and Social Connections.” Among the findings was a startling statistic: 1/3 of US adults ages 45 and over feel lonely. Other facts, related to LGBTQ+ adults, also stood out. “… LBGTQ status plays a role in loneliness. Midlife and older adults who identify as LGBTQ are more likely to be lonely (49%) compared to those who do not (35%).”
Researchers representing diverse disciplines agree on the negative consequences of loneliness, including impacts on health, confidence, sense of well-being and resilience. The study is a useful reference for those beginning or developing site-based programming for 50+ adults.
The study findings are also important for museum and library programmers seeking evidence to support and shape their work to build stronger connections with older LGBTQ+ audiences. Based on this study, such work can help improve the quality of life for older LGBTQ+ adults.