National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2011

Media Contact
Judy Evans, 212-741-2247 ext. 237
jevans@sageusa.org

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging Introduces National Training Curriculum on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Aging Issues

LGBT aging cultural competency training is available free of charge to aging network agencies and LGBT organizations to improve crucial services for LGBT older adults.

[NEW YORK, NY] The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging introduced today its new national training program, a comprehensive curriculum for aging network providers and LGBT organizations that aims to improve the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults nationwide.

“LGBT older adults make up a significant share of America’s 65+ population, and their numbers are expected to double in size over the next several decades, reaching more than 3 million by 2030. This means that aging providers will increasingly be called on for services and supports that meet their unique needs,” said Hilary Meyer, Director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. “The National Resource Center trainings, delivered by a nationwide corps of trainers, will give agencies the tools and information they need to create inclusive and affirming services for all LGBT older adults.” The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is a project of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) in partnership with 10 LGBT and aging organizations.

The trainings on LGBT aging issues are designed to help agencies foster a safe and welcoming environment for LGBT older adults. Consisting of two 4-hour sessions for aging providers and LGBT organizations, they are being offered free of charge. Developed through a collaboration of LGBT and aging experts from across the country, this comprehensive training is suitable for all levels of staff, including administrators, service providers and volunteers.

Topics covered in the training include:

  • Culture, needs, and concerns of LGBT older adults
  • Why LGBT older adults are less likely to access health and social services
  • Best practices and policies for increasing inclusiveness and safety for LGBT older adults
  • Tools and education to better serve the LGBT older adults who currently access your services, or who are in need of your services
  • Exploring assumptions about aging
  • Exploring attitudes toward various diverse older adults within the LGBT community
  • Supporting inclusion and addressing bias in organizations

“This curriculum is part of the Resource Center's effort to empower and support providers within the aging network and LGBT organizations to make changes to better serve LGBT older adults and ensure that these older adults have necessary services and supports to successfully age in their communities,” said Kate Waldo, CTRS, Organizational Culture Change Specialist, PHI. PHI, a leader in service provider education, led the curriculum development in partnership with Hunter College, CenterLink, FORGE Transgender Aging Network, GRIOT Circle, The LGBT Aging Project, Openhouse and SAGE.

In December 2010, SAGE released a report with five other aging and LGBT organizations that found that aging network agencies are willing to provide services to LGBT older adults, but lack the necessary training. The report, Ready to Serve? The Aging Network and Older LGB and T People, also found that agencies that had provided LGBT cultural competency training for their staff were more likely to have had requests for support from openly LGBT older adults—suggesting that training is the key to creating welcoming environments for LGBT elders.

For more information, and to request a training, visit the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging at lgbtagingcenter.org.

To read Ready to Serve? The Aging Network and Older LGB and T People, visit sageusa.org.

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. SAGE has pioneered programs and services for the aging LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for LGBT older people across the country, and provided a national voice on LGBT aging issues. In 2005, SAGE became the first official LGBT delegate at the White House Conference on Aging. In 2010, SAGE was awarded a three-year $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging to seed the creation of the nation's only National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. Learn more at sageusa.org and lgbtagingcenter.org.

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The launch of our National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is an enormous step forward for our aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. It speaks to the necessary attention that service providers of all types must place on supporting diverse older adults around the country.