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13 posts from February 2013

February 28, 2013

The Struggle of Her Life: Finding the Strength to Recover from a Stroke

FrancesIn honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog featured a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read the other posts. Women’s History Month begins next week and similarly, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT older women every Friday during the month of March. Today’s post is in honor of both Black History Month and Women’s History Month. 

Frances Gordon is a health fanatic, who prides herself on doing Zumba, lifting weights and eating well. And all at age 72!

But in 2012, Ms. Gordon began to overheat during a workout and had to be rushed to the emergency room. She was shocked to discover that she suffered a stroke (an element of cardiovascular disease).

Continue reading "The Struggle of Her Life: Finding the Strength to Recover from a Stroke" »

February 26, 2013

Maryland Extends Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protections to Same-Sex Couples

SusanFrancis
Maryland Advocate, Susan Francis
SAGE was thrilled to learn that Maryland recently extended spousal impoverishment protections for same-sex couples! Spousal impoverishment protections prevent a healthy spouse from having to spend down their savings and live in poverty, or give up a family home, in order to qualify his/her spouse for Medicaid long-term care support. Until 2011, these protections generally did not apply to same-sex couples. However in June of that year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that states could extend some of these important protections to same-sex couples.

After CMS’ announcement SAGE partnered with the Williams Institute on a Spousal Impoverishment Protections Initiative, an effort that provides research and technical support for advocates nationwide to ensure that each state takes the steps necessary to extend protections for same-sex couples. California, New York and Delaware are among the states that have already implemented these protections since the announcement from CMS, while many other states have efforts underway.

Continue reading "Maryland Extends Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protections to Same-Sex Couples" »

February 21, 2013

Looking to Harlem – Creating a Safe Space for the Older Black LGBT Community

Harlem Pride
SAGE Harlem Volunteer & Participant Enjoy Harlem Pride 2011
In honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read the other features. 

Harlem is undoubtedly one of the most well-known African-American neighborhoods in NYC and the nation. Part of its rich history includes the Harlem Renaissance, a literary movement celebrating black cultural identity in the 1920s and 30’s. It is also home to the Apollo Theatre, a cultural landmark that has hosted influential black icons and leaders such as President Barack Obama, Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson. What might not be as well-known, however, is that there are a number of local black and gay-owned businesses in the community such as Harlem Flo and Billie’s Black, showcasing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people exist in Harlem.

There is also a significant aging community. One in three Harlem residents are age 50 and older, according to 2006 estimates from The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. And as an outreach coordinator for SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), I also know well that a significant number of these older adults are LGBT.

Continue reading "Looking to Harlem – Creating a Safe Space for the Older Black LGBT Community" »

February 20, 2013

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Launches LGBT Elder Abuse Portal

NRC
Screenshot of NRC's New Website Section Dedicated to LGBT Elder Abuse
Today, along with founding partner organization FORGE Transgender Aging Network, SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging launched a brand new website section dedicated to LGBT Elder Abuse.  While elder abuse affects all elders regardless of sexual orientation and transgender status, there are ways that LGBT elders can be specifically victimized and other reasons why they may choose to stay silent. 

This portal brings together information from partner organizations as well as groundbreaking new content to address some of these issues. The multimedia resources are especially geared toward helping abuse professionals assist in these cases and for LGBT older adults and their caregivers to understand how to get help. The resources include:

Continue reading "National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Launches LGBT Elder Abuse Portal" »

February 19, 2013

Don’t Just Look for a Job: Three Ways to Pursue Your Passions

We are all either looking for a job or know someone who is.  Our nation’s “poor economy” has made headlines daily, serving as a depressing reminder for those who are out of work or want to leave a job that’s just not a good fit.

For those of us left empty handed after months of searching, rewriting resumes and networking with everyone we begin to think:

“I need a job. I’ll take anything!”

Continue reading "Don’t Just Look for a Job: Three Ways to Pursue Your Passions" »

February 15, 2013

10 Things to Know About Heart Disease (Spanish & English)

February is American Heart Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Continue reading "10 Things to Know About Heart Disease (Spanish & English)" »

February 14, 2013

Michael & Michael: Building a Life Together in Harlem

 

Michael_poloraid_bordered
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In honor of Black History Month, the SAGE Blog will feature a post on LGBT aging in the black community every Thursday during the month of February. This is guest blog post by Michael Johnson, a SAGE constituent who married his spouse Michael Roberts in 2011. Michael and Michael were also featured on CNN in 2011; see the video here.

 

We are Michael and Michael. I am African American and 56 years old. Roberts is an English expat and now an American Citizen. He is 83.

I have a BFA from the University of Florida, and I lived in Florida until graduation. The day I graduated, I flew to New York City. There, I quickly found my way to the Village and Joseph Papp and the House of Barbara Matera (costume design.) Then Roberts came into my life and the world went a-tilt.

Roberts came to the U.S. on April 12, 1956 with a Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry, a trunk of clothes never worn, a trunk of books (lost) and two letters of introduction, one of which got him instantly hired by IBM. For this story, all that matters about his time at IBM is that he stayed there until retirement, at the end living in a ranch house in Connecticut for tax reasons.

Continue reading "Michael & Michael: Building a Life Together in Harlem" »

Here & Gone: LGBT Elders Celebrate Love this Valentine’s Day

Phyllisconie_vday
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we put together some pictures (and a video) to celebrate LGBT older people and the love they share in their lives. Here’s the first picture. Phyllis and Connie met at a SAGE women’s discussion group and 12 year later made headlines as the first same-sex couple to legally marry in New York City. In fact, BuzzFeed recently displayed their wedding photos as part of their feature “20 Photos That Could Change Someone's Mind About Gay Marriage.” (Also pictured at #17 is a photo from SAGE Board Member Reggie Stanley’s wedding.)

We also recognize that Valentine’s Day can be a day of remembrance for those who have lost a partner. One older gay man shared this love note with us about his partner who passed away.

Continue reading "Here & Gone: LGBT Elders Celebrate Love this Valentine’s Day" »

February 13, 2013

SAGE and NY Aging Advocates Applaud Decision to Preserve State Office for the Aging

This week Governor Cuomo’s Spending And Government Efficiency Commission—otherwise known as the SAGE Commission—released its final report on ways to modernize and right size New York State government. Over the past year and a half, The SAGE Commission has looked into ways to streamline state departments and operations in order to become more effective and cost-efficient. One of the options in question was whether the State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) should be merged with the state’s Department of Health (DOH).

Continue reading "SAGE and NY Aging Advocates Applaud Decision to Preserve State Office for the Aging " »

Sharing Your Story Through Video

This post is brought to you by Christina DaCosta, Online Media Manager for SAGE. Christina will be teaching a 4-week course titled “Sharing Your Story Through Video” for LGBT older adults in the NYC area, as part of SAGE Story. SAGE Story is a national digital storytelling program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. The purpose of our program is to strengthen the storytelling skills—and draw on the unique life experiencesof LGBT elders to diversify the public narratives on aging, long-term care and LGBT rights.

Video storytelling has become a powerful tool for nonprofits, the largest for-profit corporations in the world, and everyday people. Why? Because stories have power. From Greek mythology to fairy tales, to campfire ghost-stories, people love to tell and hear stories. Nowadays, videos, and the ease of creating and posting videos online, are the modern-day equivalent of storytelling. The rise of affordable smartphones, tablets and webcams has led to more and more individuals and companies uploading their own content to the web to tell their storyand you can, too!

Reports show that 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. You read that right, every minute! With that staggering fact, you may wonder if your story is important enough to share, and I’m here to tell you, IT IS.

As a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) older person, the story of just one experience out of the many in your life can create a ripple effect! You could help change a Senator’s mind on the Older Americans Act; you could give a young lesbian girl hope; you could create respect in a work environment; you could inspire someone to volunteer—and so much more.

Continue reading "Sharing Your Story Through Video" »

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