January 16, 2015

A Home for Our Community in the Bronx

On January 14, SAGE opened the doors to its new Center for LGBT older adults in the Bronx. With hot lunches, a cyber cafe, health and educational programs and more, SAGE Center Bronx promises to be a lively, warm and welcoming home for LGBT older adults in this historically underserved borough of New York City. 

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The Bronx opening was attended by SAGE participants, staff and supporters, including New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and City Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Daniel Dromm and Annabel Palma. It was particularly exciting to celebrate with Councilmember Torres, the first openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, who spearheaded the effort to fund SAGE's expansion across New York City. 

 View our Flickr album for more photos of this exciting event, and read this recent New York Times article for much more about SAGE Center Bronx, and the larger SAGE Center expansion initiative, as well as comments from SAGE participants. 

Cheers to our new Bronx family! 

-- Posted by Kira Garcia

January 14, 2015

Creating Change 2015: Advancing an LGBT Agenda

Today’s post is from Serena Worthington, Director of National Field Initiatives. Follow her on Twitter.

SAGE Staff are looking forward to a robust and energizing Creating Change conference in Denver February 4-8. Creating Change, hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force, is the largest annual gathering of activists, organizers and leaders in the LGBT movement.

CedricandImani
Cedric Harmon, Many Voices; Imani Woody, SAGE Metro DC; Serena Worthington, SAGE

This will SAGE’s 5th year hosting the Elder Institute, a day-long pre-conference session built around a theme and spotlighting LGBT older adult activists and providers working in aging. This year the theme is What’s Your Story? Passion, Elder Activism and Movement Building and features interactive group workshops, roundtables and panels. I’m particularly excited to be sharing a new round of stories from our national SAGE Story initiative and to be hosting storytellers from the long-standing group, Telling Your Story, a program of SAGE of the Rockies. These folks have been meeting weekly for four years and have built an amazing archive of personal stories about their experiences as LGBT people over 50. Other highlights of the day include: policy roundtables over lunch on key issues such as HIV and aging, marriage equality and social security, and the upcoming White House Conference on Aging; a panel of activist talking about their templates for community change; and a panel of noted experts working to build an infrastructure of safe, inclusive, affordable housing for LGBT elders in communities across the country. 

The first 50 people to RSVP for the Elder Institute will receive a $10 gift card which can be used to purchase lunch while attending the day-long institute. Please note, your RSVP is not the same as registering for the conference. Conference registration is required. 

To RSVP, visit Creating Change Elder Institute RSVP

SAGE staff are thrilled to be awarding Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) the SAGE Advocacy Award for Excellence in Leadership on Aging Issues for his visionary leadership on LGBT aging and for introducing the LGBT Elder Americans Act, a bill that would increase federal supports to millions of LGBT older people through the Older Americans Act (OAA), the country’s largest vehicle for funding and delivering services to older people in the US.

Other highlights include a training by Tim Johnston, the Manger for Education and Training for the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, on Building Age Inclusive LGBT Services. Aaron Tax, our Federal Government Relations Director, will join a panel to address the question, “How can activists on the ground become a bridge to creating more supportive and equitable services and supports for our elders?”

DSC_3579AA big draw for me is the Elders 50+ and Allies Dance. Sponsored by AARP, the Saturday evening dance is consistently a huge hit, bringing folks of all ages together where the LGBTQ community has always found friendship and joy—on the dance floor.

For those of you who will be attending, I look forward to meeting and strategizing with you! Whether you will be in Denver or joining from afar, stay connected with SAGE at Creating Change by following SAGE on Twitter and finding us on Facebook!

January 6, 2015

We're Hosting a Free Webinar on Out & Visible

This fall, SAGE released Out and Visible: The Experiences and Attitudes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Older Adults, Ages 45-75. Based on groundbreaking market research on LGBT older adults, the report examines the values, needs, wants and lifestyle preferences of LGBT elders.

SAGE_OUT&VISIBLE_Meme1To illuminate the impact of this landmark report, we are proud to announce a webinar detailing notable findings and forecasting how this data will improve service provision, planning and policy reform efforts for national organizations like the AARP, Transgender Law Center, SAGE and Witeck Communications, as well as regional service providers such as SAGE Metro St. Louis.

This is also the very last chance to hear insights and observations about the report from its author, Robert Espinoza, SAGE’s Senior Director of Policy and Communications, while he is still in his current role at SAGE. He is departing to serve as Vice President of Policy at PHI National and his last day coincides with our webinar.

Friday, January 9, 2015 from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EST. To register for the webinar, please click here. The webinar ID is 119-423-395.

Moderated by Serena Worthington, SAGE's Director of National Field Initiatives, our panelists include:

 

  • Hop Backus, Executive Vice President, States & Communities, AARP
  • Masen Davis, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center
  • Robert Espinoza, Senior Director of Policy and Communications, SAGE
  • Sherrill Wayland, Executive Director, SAGE Metro St. Louis
  • Bob Witeck, CEO and Co-founder, Witeck Communications

 

To read a copy of the report, please click here. Don't have time for the full version? Check out our Executive Summary here.

December 30, 2014

Celebrating Our Year in Pictures

2014 was a pivotal year for SAGE and we are proud to celebrate our achievements in pictures! From Pride with our affiliates around the country to opening up LGBT seniors centers around New York city and from promoting policy changes to our groundbreaking report Out & Visible and more! , SAGE is proud of the work we do on behalf of our LGBT older adults.

Support our work and help us continue to help our community by making a tax-deductible donation before the New Year. Here's to 2015!

December 23, 2014

Introducing The SAGE-Pride Center of Staten Island

The new Pride Center of Staten Island, (presently the Staten Island LGBT Community Center – a program of Community Health Action of Staten Island) has served the LGBT community of Staten Island since 1989. One of the hallmarks of The Pride Center is its ability to create a sense of belonging and family, fostered by its inter-generational opportunities as well as its signature older adults program, the "Golden Rainbow Club."

Now, SAGE is partnering with The Pride Center of Staten Island to build on their Golden Rainbow Club and increase programming for LGBT older adults throughout the borough. The SAGE-Pride Center of Staten Island will offer up to 20 hours per week of programs designed to help older adults age actively and healthfully within their community.

To celebrate this new partnership, The SAGE-Pride Center of Staten Island hosted a kick-off event for participants, staff, and local leaders on December 18, 2014. Department for the Aging Commissioner, Donna Corrado, representatives from numerous elected offices, and leadership from both organizations offered words of support and encouragement. Guests were also treated to a holiday-themed revue by performer, Tym Moss and the debut of Vintage/Modern, a portrait exhibit by resident art curator, Steven Wakeman.

Check out the slideshow of our kick-off event below and be sure to visit us in Staten Island!

 

December 18, 2014

Join us for a Free Webinar on Out & Visible

LGBT_OAMarketResearch_Rpt-1This fall, SAGE released Out and Visible: The Experiences and Attitudes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Older Adults, Ages 45-75. The report examined the values, needs, wants and lifestyle preferences of LGBT older people and has been featured in a number of national publications, including Forbes, The Huffington Post and Edge media networks.

We are proud to announce a webinar detailing notable findings from this landmark report. Join us on Friday, January 9, 2015 from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm EST. To register for the webinar, please click here. The webinar ID is 119-423-395. 
 
Moderated by Serena Worhington, SAGE's Director of National Field Initiatives, our panelists include:

  • Hop Backus, Executive Vice President, States & Communities, AARP
  • Masen Davis, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center
  • Robert Espinoza, Senior Director of Policy and Communications, SAGE
  • Lisa Krinsky, Director, LGBT Aging Project, The Fenway Institute
  • Bob Witek, CEO and Co-founder, Witek Communications

To read a copy of the report, please click here. Don't have time for the full version? Check out our Executive Summary here.

December 16, 2014

29th Annual Toys Party a Great Success!

16012383546_c295402775_qOn Sunday, December 14, 2014, Robby Browne, David Tufts and Chris Kann hosted the 29th Annual Toys Party at Chelsea Piers in New York City. With over 2,000 guests attending, the party is a highlight of the holiday season for the NYC LGBT community and serves as a fundraiser for SAGE. Politicians, television stars and community supporters also brought toys which are given to the 9th Police Precinct Community Center, Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn ACE Integration Head Start, Camp Felix, God’s Love We Deliver, Grace Baptist/Faith Mission, The Iris House, UWS Jericho Project/Brick Church and the Youth 4 Seniors/Harlem InterAgency Council.

We would like to thank our hosts, guests and our sponsors, HBO, Ketel One and Grey Advertising, for supporting us this year and we can't wait to see you next December! View a few photos from the evening below. Interested in more? Check out more pics from our photobooth area here and here.

December 9, 2014

DEC and HHS Host “Affordable Care Act and Diverse Elders” Event

Today's post is from Ben de Guzman, the National Managing Coordinator of our partner organization, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC). It was originally featured on the DEC's blog here. Follow the DEC on Twitter for more updates. 

On Tuesday, November 25, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC), in partnership with the U.S. Department on Health and Human Services (HHS), hosted a briefing on the Affordable Care Act and diverse elders. As the new National Managing Coordinator for the DEC, I was excited to open the event by welcoming the audience and introducing Michael Adams, Executive Director of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), a DEC member. Michael provided a wealth of data on health care challenges faced by diverse communities, including Latinos, American Indians/ Alaska Natives (AI/ AN), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), African Americans, the LGBT community, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS. Some of the highlights of these data include:

  • AAPI Older Adults: Health disparities within a diverse AAPI elder population and the need for disaggregated data (eg. Disproportionate rates of breast cancer among Japanese and Filipino women).
  • Hispanic Older Adults: In 2009, 32.4% of all Hispanics and 5% of Hispanic seniors lacked health insurance.
  • LGBT Older Adults: Significant physical and mental health disparities: high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS and more.
  • HIV Positive Older Adults: 50% of those who are HIV+ will be age 50+ by 2015—70% will be 50+ by 2020.

With this baseline of information in place, Michael introduced two important partners in the DEC’s work, Matthew Heinz, who serves as HHS’s liaison to the LGBT community and providers, and Kathy Greenlee, Administrator for the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Both Mr. Heinz and Administrator Greenlee emphasized their agencies’ commitment to maintaining and expanding their responsiveness to diverse communities as we enter the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment.

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The discussion moved to a panel format, which included Mr. Adams, Vicky Gottleich, Director of the ACL’s Center for Policy and Evaluation, and Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), another DEC member. The conversation expanded to include disparities that women face in accessing health care, as well as specific experiences Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees are having with Covered California, that state’s health insurance exchange. A vibrant Q&A session drilled down further into the issues.

With the second round of enrollment just beginning, the pending transition of political leadership in the Senate, and important conversations happening across the country around race and LGBT equality, this is an important time to be having this discussion for older adults across the spectrum. The DEC and its members continue to be at the forefront of this discussion and are committed to the wellbeing of all older adults, their families, and their communities.

December 1, 2014

Recognizing World AIDS Day

AIDSRibbonDid you know that research estimates project that by 2015, one in two people with HIV in this country will be age 50 and older?  Further, HIV infections are on the rise among older people, many of whom are likely to be dually diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.

The demographic face of HIV/AIDS is a graying one and the latest national data show that adults 50 and older account for 17% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses and 29%  of all persons living with AIDS. Despite the rise in HIV infections among older people, few prevention efforts explicitly target older adults with age-sensitive information and education. On this World AIDS Day, SAGE would like to recognize the challenges that our older adults face and bring to light information on  what it means to live and age with HIV—especially as diverse LGBT communities.

November 26, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: Getting Smart About Heart Health

6thingscardiovascular-1 copyAccessing healthcare is complicated for many people, but LGBT older adults face a specific set of concerns and challenges. For example, according to SAGE’s new report, Out & Visible, 40% of LGBT people in their 60’s and 70’s say their healthcare providers don’t know their sexual orientations—which can lead to poorer health outcomes.

SAGE and Pfizer are collaborating to help improve the health of LGBT older people with a series of “Lunch and Learn” events at the SAGE Center. A recent event focused on Cardiovascular Disease—the number one cause of death in our country. After the event, we chatted with presenter Robbins Gottlock, a family medicine physician who treats both adults and children. Read the interview, and check out our online fact sheet, to learn more!

Thanks for taking the time to talk and to share your wisdom with SAGE, Robbins! What are some of the misconceptions about cardiovascular disease?
Because cardiovascular disease can be a silent killer, many people don’t take it as seriously as they should. And when they finally do take it seriously, they fear it’s too late. I’m here to say it’s never too late. Anyone can make immediate meaningful reductions to their risk of cardiovascular disease. Seize the moment and stop smoking, start exercising, and lose weight. Treat your blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. Check with your doctor about other positive changes you can make.

At what age do we begin to see more instances of cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease starts even in adolescence with trace cholesterol buildup in the arteries. The amount of damage increases over time and is proportional to a person’s risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug use, and depression. Some people with multiple risk factors start showing signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease at a very early age such as their forties. The average person might have problematic cardiovascular disease in their sixties. Ultimately, cardiovascular disease is the top killer of people in our country.

How are LGBT people impacted by, or more vulnerable to, these diseases in particular?
Unfortunately, as LGBT people, we have higher rates of smoking, alcohol and substance use, obesity, and depression. These lifestyle factors predispose us to cardiovascular disease. Moreover, as a group that has suffered from ongoing discrimination, we haven’t traditionally had as much access to healthcare.

Let’s say you have a patient who’s finding it hard to take the steps needed to help prevent these diseases—what are some simple, more manageable preventative measures you might recommend?
Weight loss is very important but not always very easy. However, even losing 5-10% of a person’s body weight can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, I’d encourage people to take simple steps now to lose weight—go for a daily walk around the block or cut out one unhealthy snack a day. Beyond losing weight, make sure you are up to date with routine screenings for high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Are there any exciting new treatments or findings about these diseases that we should be aware of?
Last year new guidelines were released that help patients and their doctors quantify a person’s risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The guidelines suggest when and how to treat people to reduce their risk. Speak with your doctor about how these guidelines can apply to you.

Thank you Robbins! This has been so educational.

 

--Posted by Kira Garcia