The Role of Information and Communication Technology in End-of-Life Planning Among a Sample of Canadian LGBT Older Adults

J Appl Gerontol. 2020 May;39(5):536-544. doi: 10.1177/0733464819848634. Epub 2019 May 8.

Abstract

To better understand the role of technology in later-life planning among older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) adults, we conducted focus groups to explore factors linked to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Twenty focus groups were facilitated across Canada with 93 participants aged 55 to 89. Constant comparative analysis yielded four categories: (a) fear, (b) individual benefits, (d) social elements, and (d) contextual elements. Fear related to technology and fear of end-of-life planning. Individual benefits referred to technology as a platform for developing LGBT identities and as a source of information for later-life planning. Social elements were establishment and maintenance of personal relationships and social support networks. Contextual elements referred to physical and situational barriers to technology use that limited access and usability. These findings can inform technological practice and services to enhance later-life planning.

Keywords: Internet and communication technology; bisexual; gay; later-life planning; lesbian; transgender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives*
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Communication*
  • Death*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Information Technology*
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities* / psychology
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support