SAGE LGBT Summit on Aging

Summit on Aging for the LGBT Community

Date: Friday September 13th, 2013
Time: 9:30am-4:30pm, 9-9:30am check-in
Location: Friendly House, 1737 NW 26th Avenue


• Initiate conversation among LGBT community members, agencies serving the LGBT community, and allies on how to best support elders in our community.
• Share best practices and gaps in services for LGBT older adults.
• Facilitate discussion between providers on how better to serve the aging LGBT population and opportunities for collaboration.
• Create a vision to best support older adults in our community that includes a wide range of services, programs, and individuals.
LGBT older adults face challenges as they age that are often overlooked in the LGBT community. These challenges include: access to safe & supportive housing, isolation, unequal partner benefits, decreased familial support, and barriers to accessing services.  The needs are not only complex but the number of older LGBT individuals is also growing. Recent estimates suggest that there are at least 1.5 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people 65 and older in the U.S. and this population will double by the year 2030.
LGBT older adults have spent much of their life fighting for the rights and the decrease in homophobia many of us enjoy today. However, as they age they continue to face discrimination in key aspects of their life like housing and health care. In addition, they are denied many financial benefits that married couples enjoy like shared retirement plans, social security benefits, and veteran’s benefits –leading to an increase in financial instability. This Summit will provide a space for the LGBT community to discuss how we can best support LGBT elders and fight for equal rights. LGBT elders need to age without fear of discrimination.
Workshop topics will include:
• Physical and mental health challenges of LGBT older adults
• Unique health & legal challenges for the transgender community
• Current services available for LGBT older adults
• How LGBT & aging services providers can address the needs of older adults

About SAGE Metro Portland (Formerly Gay & Grey):

Enhances the lives of LGBT community members through education, advocacy, outreach, and
resource development. SAGE Metro Portland works with and for older adults to create community
and social change.
What we do:
• Advocacy – SAGE Metro Portland advocates for all LGBT older adults at the national and local levels. Our advocacy efforts include participation in the annual Senior Lobby Day in Salem, involvement with legislative and community leaders, partnerships with senior housing providers to create more LGBT welcoming options, and connection to the national SAGE network that has conducted advocacy on issues from marriage quality to the inclusion of LGBT older adults in the Federal Older Americans Act.
• Housing – SAGE Metro Portland advocates for safe and welcoming housing for LGBT older adults. We work directly with housing facilities to create lasting change and welcoming, inclusive environments.
• Support – SAGE Metro Portland offers Options Counselling services to LGBT people 60 or better living in Multnomah County. Options Counselling, also called case management, provides support in finding and accessing resources, decision making and aging service system navigation. Our Friendly Visitor Program matches homebound and/or vulnerable LGBT older adults age 60 or better with LGBT/Ally volunteers in an effort to reduce isolation and provide support and companionship.
• Education – Our Elder Panel and Cultural Competency Trainings increase awareness and understanding about the needs and concerns of LGBT older adults. For over a decase, we have offered quality diversity trainings for students and professionals in the fields of nursing, social work, naturopathy, gerontology, adult in-home care staff and senior housing providers; as well as to government employees, LGBT organizations and others.
• Gay & Grey Expo – The Gay & Grey Expo is an annual event for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and allies. The day includes a resource fair, breakout sessions and speakers. The Gay & Grey Expo is a one-of-a-kind event and we are proud to be in our fifth year! The Gay & Grey Expo builds community among LGBT older adults, allies and activists.  We celebrate the achievements of LGBT older adults while advocating for a fair and inclusive future.  Our unique strengths and experiences bring us together for an inspiring event that is fun and informative.

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