AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It is a well know fact that Maine has one of the oldest populations in the county. Per capita it is the oldest in the nation. It is also becoming known as a place that is accepting of Gays and Lesbians, having passed gay rights and same sex marriage laws.
So what are the issues that older members of that community will face? The American Association of Retired Persons or AARP wanted to find out so it conducted a survey. Today those results were unveiled.
Nearly 20-percent of respondents said they were discriminated against while being treated by a health care provider. One respondent reported being admonished by the staff at her nursing home for holding the hand of her longtime partner.
Advocates say part of the problem is a lack of understanding among providers about the issues GLBT elders face, mainly because they've never dealt with this issue before.
"This is the first generation of people who came out of the closet, some kicking and screaming, some very very determined to make this world a different place", said John Hennessey of Maine AARP.
To help elders navigate their way through these issues a local Maine chapter of a national organization called SAGE is being set up. SAGE stands for Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.