JUNE!!! The month of June has many milestones in it from the Summer Solstice and Father’s Day to the time when we celebrate LGBTQ Pride and our seniors who identify as LGBTQ.
With over 2.7 million LGBTQ seniors (who have identified) over the age of 50 in the United States, the unique needs of this population are coming more to the forefront as they continue to age. While aging Americans as a whole are facing social, health, and economic challenges, these are magnified for LGBTQ elders — especially those who are transgender or people of color.
As they age, medical care, caregiving needs, financial insecurity, isolation, and access to aging services are many of the points that we need to address. Despite creating families of choice and other support networks, many LGBTQ older people still experience high rates of social isolation. They are twice as likely to be single and live alone, and they are three to four times as likely to be childless. They are also less likely to feel welcome in places where many older people socialize, such as senior centers, volunteer centers, and places of worship. This can be especially true in more rural areas where individuals are less likely to make it their business to be welcoming.
We at Reach Out Morongo Basin are very proud to be a diverse organization with LGBTQ staff and volunteers, and being welcoming and inclusive is what we seek to be to ALL of our senior community. It is not only our organization that is moving forward with identifying and meeting the needs of our LGBTQ seniors. Starting on July 1, 2018, we have new client intake forms from the California Dept. of Aging that will be asking questions about gender identity and sexual orientation to help us move forward in being allies and meeting the needs of our LGBTQ senior community!
So please remember to wear your rainbow, bridge the gap, and show your PRIDE!
Peace, Love, and Happiness!
Robin Schlosser, Executive Director