Launched on 4 November at Opening Doors London’s first ever virtual research seminar, our new report is the first research to address the specific effect of the pandemic on older LGBT+ people. 

Authored by Professor Ben Thomas, “Only Connect – The Impact of Covid-19 on Older LGBT+ People” evaluates ODL’s own response to the lockdown and explores the experiences and feelings of our members during this turbulent period. The report is based on a survey of ODL members, with input from the staff and volunteers who swung into action to reconfigure the delivery of vital services in order to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT+ community. 

Some key findings: 

  • 50% of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing
  • 18% felt much more depressed than usual 

  • 23% experienced worsened physical health during lockdown
  • 37% felt more lonely than usual
  • 27% hardly ever or never had someone to talk to 

“Covid-19 and lockdown has disproportionately increased psychological distress and other vulnerabilities among many older LGBT+ people,” said Prof Thomas. “Many have been forgotten or overlooked. It’s time statutory services and local communities stepped up to meet their needs, and provide care and support, connection and interaction.” 

Prof Thomas presented his findings at the ODL online event, Causes and Impact of Stress on Older LGBT+ People, alongside other speakers including Dr Michael Brady (the Government’s Adviser on LGBT Health), Dr Dylan Kneale of University College London and Anna Kear of Tonic Living. A recording of the event is available; to request a link please email [email protected]

Read the report for more details.