This is a guest post by Devin Madden, MPH, Project Manager at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Department of Health Evidence and Policy
Older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) have long had needs that were made invisible or ignored.
In 2012, the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) joined forces to change that. Two summers ago, Mayor Bloomberg’s call for an “age-friendly” New York City for its 1.3 million seniors made headlines. In response, DFTA funded eight Innovative Senior Centers (ISC) throughout the five boroughs.
SAGE’s ISC in Chelsea (also known as The SAGE Center) is serving LGBT seniors facing a unique set of health disparities. Among many culturally sensitive programs and activities for LGBT seniors over the age of 60, the center offers nutritionally balanced hot meals every Monday through Friday, from 5-6:30pm (for a softly suggested donation of $2). So far 1,100 participants have registered. Charles Cole, a diner and a SAGE Center receptionist, notes that, “For a lot of the people here, this will be their one healthy meal of the day.”