Gay and Lesbian couples deal with all of the same stressors that a heterosexual partner would have when one needs care from the other. Partners that have no legal status are at a disadvantage when they relate to health care institutions. It is important for partners to discuss this in advance and to have Health Care Power of Attorney documents drafted so that each partner understands the other’s preferences and are allowed to make decisions for their partner. Even with this in place, gay and lesbian couples often must deal with issues related to social stigma. The first serious health issue may force a hidden or private relationship to become public. When hiring a professional caregiver to supplement personal care the couple will need to screen for the caregiver’s sensitivity to the comfort level with the couple’s lifestyle. If the illness is serious, family members of the ill person may intrude and compete for control of the care. Families may not recognize the relationship as a legitimate one. Jointly held property may also be questioned when illness creates dependency and families become involved.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
The following sections may assist you: