On March 21 specialists in the field of aging will meet at 10 a.m. at Credit Union One in Southfield, to learn more about sensitively caring for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults in southeastern Michigan. Hosted by the LGBT Older Adult Coalition of Detroit, the reception is part of a larger plan to identify culturally competent service providers who will ultimately serve as a referral base for LGBT older adults residing in the region.
“There are currently few, if any, known LGBT culturally competent service providers for older LGBT people in Michigan,” said Jay Kaplan, co-chair of the LGBT Older Adult Coalition. “This is a first step toward growing a strong base of trained and reliable providers.”
There are an estimated 68,000 LGBT people ages 65 and up currently living in Michigan with approximately 20,000 of those residing in southeastern Michigan. “LGBT Older Adults face significant disparities as they age with only one in nine having children or extended family to help care for them,” says Kathleen LaTosch, co-chair of the LGBT Older Adult Coalition. “They are much more likely to live alone and for folks who choose to live in a retirement community, many opt to go back into the closet after a lifetime of freedom, to avoid stigma and potential mistreatment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The reception is one of four that will be held throughout southeastern Michigan in 2012.
Planned as an informational meeting for service providers to learn more about how their organization can become an LGBT culturally competent provider, organizers welcome any service provider in the field of aging.
About the coalition
The LGBT Older Adult Coalition was formed in 2010. It is a collaboration of people and organizations in southeastern Michigan who are working to establish effective programs and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults. It is hosted by the ACLU of Michigan and is supported by a grant from the HOPE Fund. Participating representatives include: ACLU of Michigan, Advisory Council to Michigan’s Commission on Aging, Adult Well-Being Services, Affirmations, Area Agency on Aging 1-B, KICK, The Jim Toy Community Center, MediLodge of Southfield, and Oakland Family Services. For more information, visit http://www.LGBTOlderAdults.com