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 nationÛªs 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 educational tools to LGBT older people.
ÛÏAgencies that provide services to older individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the needs of this underserved population,Û said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. ÛÏThe 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.Û
I certainly applaud any agency that can snag needed resources for their constituents. But it sort of bothers me that even aging issues now have to be segregated by ethnic, religious and sexual persuasion. Getting old is getting old and presents challenges for everyone. Yes are those challenges different for the gay population? Certainly. But they are no different than the challenges my mother faces, my in-laws and countless thousands of others. We have a hard enough time educating the so called “mainstream” public about aging that it seems all of these disparate efforts need to unite around common aging themes so as to educate and empower everyone.