Oversold conference on LGBT aging looks for ways to improve lives of elders

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Mayor Henry LaRosiliere, left, with Dawnetta Miller, middle, and Jeannie Rubin

The second annual Summit on LGBT Aging packed the meeting rooms in one of Southern Methodist University’s Plano campus buildings on Saturday, July 23.

“In the 90’s, the idea of aging just didn’t resonate with many of us,” said GALA NTX President Jeannie Rubin in opening remarks to the conference. “We have become the LGBT aging community we never thought would exist.”

Rubin introduced the opening speaker, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere.

While LaRosiliere wasn’t there to provide solutions, he was there to offer his support in “a city that believes everyone matters.”

He said that all elderly communities have concerns about affordable housing, their finances and health, but acknowledged the LGBT community has “an extra layer you have to contend with.”

“As a city, we will continue to foster our relationship” with the LGBT community, LaRosiliere said, “and find ways we as a community can collaborate.”

Aging Coalition founder Cannon Flowers said in the LGBT community, people on the margins are treated harshly. He defined the margins as those under 21 and those over 45.

“We discriminate in our own community,” Flowers said.

University of North Texas LGBT researcher Bart Poche gave some of the statistics. Currently, about 143,000 aging LGBT people live in North Texas. That number will grow to more than 200,000 over the next decade. Of those, some groups are more marginalized than others. One in three transgender people have been turned away from shelters and are four times more likely to live below the poverty line than the community in general, for example.

One problem addressed at the conference was discrimination in healthcare and housing. Some LGBT elders go back into the closet so they’re not discriminated by healthcare workers or in assisted living.

In a breakout session on improving the social lives of elders to improve their health and quality of life, lots of ideas emerged. Among the suggestions was a buddy program that was successful during the height of the AIDS epidemic. The program would pair a younger person with an older person to help with a variety of needs.

Flowers said during the break out that it’s the policy of the Coalition not to recreate or reinvent services that were out there. So he liked a suggestion at existing groups help create social events targeted at or inclusive of LGBT elderly. One example came from someone from DIVA, the volleyball organization. They recently held a volleyball event for people 45 and older that brought together former DIVA members and others who hadn’t played the game in years.

A breakout session on housing addressed problems faced by LGBT elders in assisted living and nursing care. While most facilities welcome LGBT residents, that welcome is often not much more than acceptance. No programming is available at any facility in the area that addresses LGBT interests.

Moderator Robert Emery noted that the Coalition is creating an equality index this year that will be sent out to all senior facilities in North Texas.

Other panels address transgender, legal, caregiving and legislative issues.

Mike McKay, former Resource Center CEO and current regional manager for the Peace Corps, said, “One thing we all have in common is we’re all aging.”

He summed up the conference with three takeaway ideas:

Change: Figure out how you can change to make your life better as you age.

Connect: Connect to your community by working together with others, through organizations, churches or friends.

Contribute: Whether that’s financially or with your time, especially on legislative issues in the upcoming legislative session.

A Tarrant County summit will be held in Arlington on Nov. 12.

—  David Taffet

Last day for early bird rate for Ed-U-Care’s compassion fatigue symposium

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Ed-U-Care CEO Sharyn Fein

Today (Tuesday, March 1) is the last day to register at the early bird rate for Ed-U-Care‘s Compassion Fatigue symposium scheduled for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 1 at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road.

The organization provides programs and volunteer opportunities for groups and families that have traditionally been marginalized or neglected including older LGBT adults.

The symposium, officially titled “Compassion Fatigue Awareness, Education Cultural Humility Training for Caregivers,” is designed to educate and teach seal-healing methods for those who provide care. Professionals who can receive CEU credits for the day as well as individuals who are caring for an elderly parent or a partner with an ongoing condition.

AIDS Arms and Lambda Legal are among the sponsors. The Dallas area Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Society and Senior Source are some of the others presenting the symposium.

Early bird registration is $30. After that it’s $35. The price includes two catered meals.

Get tickets here.

—  James Russell

Ed-U-Care presents compassion fatigue symposium

Fein.Sharyn

Ed-U-Care CEO Sharyn Fein

Ed-U-Care, an organization that provides programs and volunteer opportunities for groups and families that have traditionally been marginalized or neglected including older LGBT adults, presents “Compassion Fatigue Awareness, Education Cultural Humility Training for Caregivers.”

According to Ed-U-Care CEO Sharyn Fein, the program is designed to educate and teach seal-healing methods for those who provide care. The day is designed for professionals who can receive CEU credits for the day as well as individuals who are caring for an elderly parent or a partner with an ongoing condition.

Burnout can be so severe, Fein said, the caregiver dies before the person being cared for in some cases.

Fein said the sessions will be fun with presenters who including a music therapist, Nia practitioner and trainer, QiGong Master and more.

“Find what makes us happy,” she said. “Live without guilt.”

AIDS Arms and Lambda Legal are among the sponsors. The Dallas area Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Society and Senior Source are some of the others presenting the symposium.

The event takes place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 1 at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road. Early bird registration is $30 until March 1. After that it’s $35. The price includes two catered meals.

Get tickets here.

—  David Taffet

UNT needs bisexual and/or transgender research participants

UNTThe University of North Texas Center for Psychosocial Health Research will soon complete its research study investigating quality of life and wellbeing among LGBT folks over 50.

The study is intended to advance research on health, social support and emotional happiness of the aging LGBT community (50+ years), an under-represented group in current research. Bisexual and/or transgender participants are needed. They already reached their goal for gay and lesbian participants.

The UNT research team seeks to identify needs for the community in the areas of mental health, healthcare, social services and legislation. All information collected is kept strictly confidential, and the results of the study are only published/presented in aggregate.

Participants in the study meet with research assistants from UNT’s Center for Psychosocial Health Research in public places appropriate for the task that are geographically convenient to participants.

You don’t have to go up to Denton to participate. Resource Center is providing use of their meeting rooms to conduct surveys, but researchers will are happy to meet you anywhere in the metroplex. Surveys are conducted in person on a laptop (provided), which usually takes about 2 hours complete. All participants receive a $25 cash incentive for their participation.

If you would like to help advance this important research, please contact: Center for Psychosocial Health Research, University of North Texas by email or call 214-699-7146.

—  David Taffet

“Gen Silent” explores challenges facing the elderly LGBT community

Gen Silent PosterThere are almost 38 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2030. Yet in a Fenway Institute study fifty percent of nursing home workers said that their co-workers are intolerant of LGBT people. That collision of a rapidly aging queer population and a nursing home system ill-prepared to serve them is explored in Gen Silent, a documentary showing at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 pm.

Gen Silent, from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux, follows six LGBT seniors as they struggle to make decisions about their twilight years. These seniors put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term health care that many go back into the closet.

Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated and at risk on not receiving medical care. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers –from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse, including shocking bed-side attempts by staff to persuade seniors to give up their “sinful” lifestyles.

This free screening will be followed by a call-to-action and panel discussion with some of Houston’s GLBT senior leaders.

View the trailer for Gen Silent after the break.

—  admin

Local Briefs

GAIN holding monthly meeting

GAIN, the GLBT aging interest network that is a program of Resource Center Dallas, will meet Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Resource Center, 2701 Reagan.
Educator, public speaker and writer Deneen Robinson, BSW, will present the program on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the aging LGBT community.
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Students seeks study participants

Cindy Chwalik, a clinical psychology student at Walden University who is interning with Youth First Texas, is looking for natal females (those who were born biologically female) who were born in the South and came out as lesbians while living in the South to participate in a research project she is conducting. She is particularly looking for women born in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Participation involves a 60-to-90-minute interview. Chwalik said there is no compensation for participating, but the information will help those who come out in the future.
Contact her via email at cindychwalik @aol.com.

TDWCC to hear from candidates

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold their next general meeting Monday, April 25, at 6:45 p.m. at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco, Founders Hall, Shawnee Room F148.

The program will feature a forum of candidates in the upcoming non-partisan municipal elections. Confirmed thus far from Plano are Judy Drotman, campaign manager for City Council Place 3 candidate Andre Davidson; City Council Place 5 candidate Matt Lagos; City Council Place 5 candidate Jim Duggan, and City Council Place 7 candidate Pat Gallagher.

Candidates in the Frisco elections who have confirmed so far are Mayor Maher Maso, City Council Place 5 candidate Bart Crowder, and Frisco ISD candidated Anne McCausland and Dody Brigadier.

—  John Wright

Orlando’s Gay Church Aging Rapidly

Joy Metropolitan Community Church X390 (ORLANDO SENTINEL) | ADVOCATE.COMOrlando’s Joy Metropolitan Community Church, which caters to gay and
lesbian worshippers, is having trouble attracting young people to its
pews, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

MetLife study on Aging Boomers reveals some disturbing stats

del martin and phyllis lyon
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

MetLife and American Society on Aging (ASA), which includes an appropriately named group, the LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN), have done a study on aging Baby Boomers.

Note to MetLife, I may be a Baby Boomer, but I’m NOT aging.

Their study, “Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Baby Boomers,” reveals some interesting similarities and some disturbing differences between the LGBT population and the population in general.

The study, which polled 1,200 LGBT individuals and 1,200 people from the general population, shows stark differences and striking similarities between the two groups with regard to attitudes, demographics and aging:

·         60% of LGBT Boomers fear being unable to care for themselves as they age; 35% fear becoming dependent on others; and 10% fear discrimination as they age.

·         Of the LGBT sample surveyed, Lesbians (76%), Gay men (74%), Bisexuals (16%) and Transgender individuals (39%) say they are “completely” or “mostly” out.  61% of Lesbians and 57% of Gay men say their families are “completely” or “very” accepting, while that is true for 24% of Bisexuals and 42% of Transgender individuals.

—  David Taffet

HHS teams with SAGE

Michael  Adams, executive director of SAGE
Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Administration on Aging have awarded Services &  Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) a three-year, $900,000 grant to create the nation’s only national resource center on LGBT aging.

The National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders will assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and supports for older LGBT people.  The Resource Center will provide training to aging service providers and LGBT agencies nationwide, and will offer critically important educational tools to LGBT older people.

“Agencies that provide services to older individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the needs of this under-served population,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Resource Center will provide information, assistance and resources for both mainstream aging organizations and LGBT organizations and will provide assistance to LGBT individuals as they plan for future long-term care needs.”

SAGE is the nation’s oldest and largest organization serving LGBT older adults. In creating the Resource Center, SAGE will forge a partnership with 10 organizations with expertise in a wide range of areas including mainstream aging, LGBT aging, culture change and competency and program evaluation.

“The creation of a National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders is a monumental step forward for the LGBT community,” said Michael Adams, executive director of SAGE. “SAGE is extremely gratified to be given this opportunity to create and oversee the Resource Center in close cooperation with the Administration on Aging.”pro-dota2продвижение сайта youtube

—  David Taffet