Q&A with Scott French of SAGECAP, a Program of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Scott French, SAGECAP (SAGE Caring and Preparing) Program Manager, talks to us about SAGE’s caregiving programs. SAGECAP (Caring and Preparing), is a program of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) that provides a safe and welcoming community to LGBT caregivers as they navigate their current and future needs: as they provide care for a loved one, SAGECAP cares for them, and in turn helps them prepare for their own aging future. We spoke with Scott about this program, the first of its kind in the nation.
What kinds of caregiving services does SAGECAP provide?
SAGECAP offers a host of caregiving services to provide comprehensive support to caregivers. These services include: weekly caregiver support groups, one-on-one and group counseling services, educational seminars, bereavement group referrals and development of caregiving plans. In addition, SAGECAP works with caregivers to prepare for their own aging needs by offering informational workshops (on topics such as long-term care, financial and legal planning) and referrals to planning professionals with expertise in LGBT aging issues. By offering a comprehensive menu of counseling supports and educational resources, SAGECAP supports the caregiver with their current reality as well as preparing them for a supportive aging future. Additionally, SAGECAP promotes LGBT caregiving issues through education and outreach both locally and nationally through ad campaigns, presentations and partnerships with aging service providers to increase the ability of the aging services and LGBT services network to meet the needs of the growing numbers of caregivers.
What was the impetus for SAGECAP?
SAGE has been providing caregiving services since 2004 with support from the New York City Department for the Aging. Our Partners in Caring Program provides outreach, information and referral, respite and supplemental services to LGBT caregivers throughout New York City. Through this work, we recognized that LGBT caregivers face challenges, from social isolation to a fear of discrimination in the health care system, that are not faced by their straight counterparts. (For a good overview of these issues, see the slideshow “LGBT Older Adults and Caregiving: Unique Needs”.) Also, as the Baby Boomer generation aged, we noticed that many of the caregivers who sought ought our services often asked the question, “What will I do when I need care?” In recognition of these growing needs and concerns, SAGECAP was born. Launched in 2009 with support from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, SAGECAP meets this growing need by pairing supportive caregiver services with a planning program for their own caregiving future.
How do you let people know about your caregiver services?
SAGECAP publicizes our services in a variety of ways, including online (website, Facebook, Twitter), print (SAGE’s monthly calendar and tri-annual magazine SAGEMatters), as well as through social marketing campaigns. In 2010 our SAGECAP ad campaign received a GLAAD Media Award in Advertising in the Outstanding Social Marketing category. SAGECAP also plans to run a national online marketing campaign to increase the awareness of LGBT caregivers and our services.
About how many participants use your services throughout the year?
Through our direct supportive counseling services, educational seminars, outreach and workshops, SAGECAP reaches upwards of 500 individuals across the country each year. For more information about SAGECAP, download the SAGECAP fact sheet.
Scott French is Program Manager for SAGECAP (Caring and Preparing), SAGE's innovative caregiver program that unites supportive counseling, education and long-term planning resources to support LGBT caregivers with their current reality as well as their own aging future. As Program Manger, Scott oversees all administrative and management aspects of SAGECAP. Additionally, Scott provides individual caregivers with short-term counseling and case management assistance. Scott holds a Master's of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Southern California and a Master's of Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia University. Scott did his undergraduate studies at George Washington University.
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