On October 22, the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation hosted a webinar in collaboration with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) that shared information about the unique needs and concerns of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) older adults. A video recording of the webinar, Meeting the Health Needs of LGBT Older Adults, is now available, as are the presentation slides and an LGBT Cultural Competency Self-Reflection Questionairre.

Meeting the Health Needs of LGBT Older Adults from Community Catalyst on Vimeo.

Statistics show many older LGBT people are less likely than the general older adult population to seek needed health care and preventive services out of fear of facing discrimination from providers. Additionally, many LGBT older people engage disproportionately in behaviors that put them at health risk, such as smoking, excessive drinking and non-prescribed drug use. LGBT older adults are also more likely to be dealing with mental health concerns – a risk factor for social isolation.

The webinar presenters, including a consumer who has benefited from SAGE-sponsored services, offered information and insight on two highly successful programs that incorporate multidisciplinary interventions:

  • Elder LGBT Interprofessional Collaborative Care Program (ELINC) in New York City, affiliated with Columbia University School of Nursing, which trains a new generation of nurses to collaborate with other health professionals in providing culturally-competent care to LGBT people across the lifespan.

  • SAGECAP Baltimore, a partnership between SAGE and The LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton, which provides LGBT individuals and their families with access to expert health information and resources including one-on-one counseling, support groups, monthly workshops, assistance with financial and legal issues, referrals to aging services, and linkage to medical care for LGBT older adults and their family caregivers.

These much-needed and forward-thinking programs are demonstrating successful approaches to addressing the unique challenges that may impact the health and well-being of older LGBT adults. We are grateful to each of our webinar presenters, and share their expressed interest in looking for opportunities to replicate these promising models in other states. Please have a look at our video recording to learn more! 

Stephanie Cohen
State Advocacy Manager, Value Advocacy Project