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Senior Living Week

By |2015-05-07T09:00:00-04:00May 7th, 2015|Michigan, News|


ANN ARBOR – Just in time for Health Awareness Week, the University of Michigan in partnership with StoryPoint, Care Response Home Care, Evangelical Homes of Michigan and Glacier Hills will host the 17th Senior Living Week Expo held in Ann Arbor.
Organized for May 11-16, the Senior Living Week Expo will bring together individuals and organizations that provide senior living, housing and support services with local seniors, gathered by the University of Michigan Housing Bureau for Seniors.
“Older adults are often a forgotten or ignored population; LGBT seniors even more so,” Janet Hunko, director of the Housing Bureau for Seniors, said. “Older adults who identify as LGBT have been known to go ‘back into the closet’ when they are seeking housing, either in assisted living situations or other congregate settings. Bringing awareness to the needs of this subset of an already vulnerable population is critical.”
The Housing Bureau for Seniors brings awareness to services provided for seniors, caregivers and their families in addition to providing housing, care and support services for those in need.
Housing is a healthcare issue. Despite paying into Social Security in the same manner as heterosexual peers, LGBT seniors are not equally eligible for Social Security benefits, the biggest difference resting in same-sex couples being denied the substantial spousal and survivor benefits provided to married couples. According to a study done by the Williams Institute published by the LGBT Aging Center, senior lesbian couples are 5 percent more likely to live in poverty than senior heterosexual couples and senior gay and lesbian couples receive between $3-6,000 less annually in Social Security than their heterosexual counterparts.
“It is important for any senior to think ahead with regard to housing and care,” Hunko reflected. “As we age, it may become more difficult to manage a household; mobility may become an issue. Many older adults are on a fixed income while the cost of living continues to increase. Being prepared and aware of the available options in our community will be beneficial in the long run.”
Seniors attending the expo will have a chance to visit exhibitions; explore personal care and support services; attend workshops presented throughout the week by experts in health, memory loss, caregiver support, specialized nutrition for seniors, home design and remodeling, financial and legal issues, generational communications and long term care; and take tours at area senior living communities’ Open House events. Professionals working in senior care will discuss information and resources that are available to help families make informed decisions that fit needs, lifestyle and budget. Deepti Reddy, M.D., from the University of Michigan School of Public Health will give a presentation on Arthritis/Osteoarthritis.
All events are offered free to the public and will help seniors or caregivers caring for a spouse, child, parent or friend explore future options for care. Hunko suggests registering for the workshops early, as seating is limited.
The first 30 people who register on the day of the expo will receive a “Lunch and Learn” addition on the day of the expo. Call 734-998-9338 or visit to register for the event.

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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