The lack of financial security, access to health care, and social and community support is a fearful reality for a disproportionate number of all older adults as they strive to maintain their independence, but it especially strikes hard at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals.
LGBT older adults make up a significant (and growing) share of both the overall LGBT population and the larger 65+ population.
The Administration on Aging now recognizes LGBT older adults as a vulnerable population with unique needs that must be addressed and has funded the first ever national resource center on LGBT aging.
Pride In Aging Project
With support from the McCune Foundation, SCLO has launched the “Pride in Aging” Project. The purpose of the project is two-fold:
- To raise awareness about the concerns of LGBT elders and the unique barriers they encounter in gaining access to housing, healthcare, long-term care and other needed services
- To provide LGBT seniors and their families with legal support and resources
Through legal representation, advocacy, and outreach, the project aims to ensure that LGBT elders are treated with dignity, care, and respect.
Same-Sex Couples’ Benefits
Recent Supreme Court and NM State Court decisions have affected the legal rights and benefits of same sex couples. You may learn more about Same-Sex Couples’ Benefits here.
Additional SAGE Resources as of November 1, 2014:
www.sageusa.org = Advocacy to improve lives of LGBT
Additional SAGE resources are available on SAGE’S website (http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/), such as:
· Inclusive Services for LGBT Older Adults: A Practical Guide to Creating Welcoming Agencies:
· Inclusive Questions for Older Adults: A Practical Guide to Collecting Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender: http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/resources/resource.cfm?r=601
· Creating Equal Access to Quality Health Care for Transgender Patients: Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies:
Questions can be sent to Tim Johnston at SAGE: [email protected]
CMS Permits States to Extend Certain Medicaid Spousal Protections to Same-Sex Couples
In a continuation of the Obama Administration’s effort to extend rights to same sex couples, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new State Medicaid Director Letter 11-006 (SMDL). There are currently federal protections against homelessness and financial ruin that apply to heterosexual couples. The SMDL sets out steps that states are permitted to take to extend these protections to same-sex spouses and domestic partners of individuals receiving Medicaid long-term care services. http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2011/06/cms-permits-states-to-extend-certain
The Aging and Health Report
Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults
Aging and health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) baby boomers have been largely ignored by services, policies and research. These seniors face higher rates of disability, physical and mental distress and a lack of access to services, according to the first study on aging and health in these communities.
A new study led by Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen and colleagues at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, indicates that prevention and intervention strategies must be developed to address the unique needs of these seniors, whose numbers are expected to double to more than 4 million by 2030. Fredriksen-Goldsen and her co-authors surveyed 2,560 LGBT adults aged 50-95 across the United States. The researchers found that the study participants had greater rates of disability, depression and loneliness and increased likeliness to smoke and binge-drink compared with heterosexuals of similar ages.
The study has been posted on the AoA website at http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Tools_Resources/diversity.aspx#LGBT.
New SAGE Public Policy & Aging Report Focuses on LGBT Aging
For the first time, the SAGE Public Policy & Aging Report is devoted entirely to issues relevant to LGBT aging. Integrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults into Aging Policy and Practice addresses a range of issues that will influence discussion on aging nationwide. The report was published in partnership with the National Academy on an Aging Society.
To download a copy of the report, go to http://www.sageusa.org/uploads/PPAR%20Summer20111.pdf
Obama Administration Publishes New Guidelines for Patient Visitation in US Hospitals.
The new rules (September 2011) empower patients to determine who can visit them, protect a patient’s right to designate a same-sex domestic partner as a visitor, and prohibit hospitals from denying visitation rights to anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. The Equality New Mexico Foundation through its NM LGBT Legal Resources Initiative has published the attached to inform patients and their families of their rights under these new rules.
National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Releases Guide to Creating Inclusive Services:
This month, SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging released its first comprehensive guide for aging service professionals and agencies. The guide offers a range of tools and tips on creating affirming services for LGBT older adults. Titled Inclusive Services for LGBT Older Adults: A Practical Guide to Creating Welcoming Agencies, this guide can help agencies foster a welcoming environment for many diverse populations, including LGBT older adults.
Download a PDF of the guide, or request print copies and visit the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging for more great resources.