- By JamesM
- 21 February, 2013
- Comments Off on About SAGE Atlanta
SAGE Atlanta is working to improve the overall quality of life for GLBT seniors/elders through services, resources, advocacy, and education. Our focus includes:
- Creating supportive and welcoming environments for GLBT seniors/elders to gather
- Provide resources and informational opportunities for the GLBT and the broader community regarding the unique needs of seniors
- Advocate for policies and legislation that will create a better quality of life for GLBT senior/elders
- Promote GLBT cultural competency training for mainstream aging providers
Despite advances in LGBT civil rights, many older adult care providers never stop to consider that their older clients may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) – and even those who do may not know how to provide services in culturally-sensitive ways. As a result, LGBT older adults often avoid seeking needed services out of fear of discrimination. The tendency for LGBT older adults to go “back in the closet” is particularly pronounced in situations where they are most vulnerable – such as when accessing home health care or residing in assisted living or residential care facilities.
One study indicated that LGBT older adults may be as much as five times less likely to access needed health and social services because of their fear of discrimination from the very people who should be helping them. This type of social isolation has an enormous impact in the health and well-being of LGBT older adults. With LGBT older adults twice as likely to live alone than heterosexual older adults, more than four times as likely to have no children, the informal caregiving support we assume is in place for older adults may not be there for LGBT elders.