Happening in Kansas City
Trending around OUTvoices
Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE) has received a three-year, $900,000 grant from the federal Health and Human Services Administration that will be used to create the nation’s only national resource center on LGBT aging.
“This is a huge thing,” said Karen Taylor, director of community advocacy and capacity building with SAGE in New York City. “This is the first-ever grant that the Administration on Aging has given to create a resource center on LGBT aging issues.”
In a press release, SAGE reported: “The National Technical Assistance Resource Center for LGBT Elders will assist communities across the country in their efforts to provide services and supports for older LGBT people. The Resource Center will provide training to aging-service providers and LGBT agencies nationwide, and will offer critically important educational tools to LGBT older people.”
Among other tools, SAGE plans to develop a web-based clearinghouse that will include diverse resources, social networking tools, an “Ask the Experts” service, web-based trainings and other features.
Kathleen Sebelius, the former governor of Kansas who is now secretary of Health and Human Services, said in the statement, “Agencies that provide services to older individuals may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the needs of this underserved population. The Resource Center will provide information, assistance and resources for both mainstream aging organizations and LGBT organizations and will provide assistance to LGBT individuals as they plan for future long-term care needs.”
Taylor said that the Administration on Aging has provided similar money to other minority communities, such as the African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian-Pacific Islander communities.
“Those resource centers have been around for several years to provide culturally competent information to the aging-services network around the country,” Taylor said. “Those are also all populations that our census studies. And of course we don’t have that in the LGBT community. We only have our estimates.
“It’s been really a decade or more of serious ongoing advocacy on the part of the LGBT community to say we need to be counted and we need to be visible,” Taylor said. “And the Administration on Aging really started to take steps forward with this administration.”
SAGE, founded in 1978, describes itself as the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit agency dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults.
Sherrill Wayland, executive director of the St. Louis affiliate of SAGE, described her local office. “Each SAGE is its own independent nonprofit, but we all share the same guiding philosophy and mission as SAGE USA … in New York City. You either form your own nonprofit or you partner with an existing community organization such as an LGBT community center. But in St. Louis we actually formed our own nonprofit with a board of directors.”
Wayland said it was important to her to become an affiliate of SAGE rather than form a new group.
“I think for us, it was recognizing that SAGE USA has a 30-year history of doing this kind of work with LGBT elders and to be a part of what I see as a growing movement across the United States. It really gives us an advantage of having the professional technical assistance and a network of professionals doing this work.”
Wayland said that St. Louis also has social groups for LGBT elders, including PrimeTimers and Old Lesbians Organizing for Change.
“Those two groups provide more of the social support,” she said. “They do a lot of dinner nights, movies, potlucks, and things like that. And then we’re picking up the other end, which is more of the advocacy and services.”
SAGE in St. Louis works closely with PROMO to advance advocacy work across the state, Wayland said, on issues such as the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act. She said SAGE would be sponsoring elders to go to LGBT Lobby Day on March 24 in Jefferson City.
Wayland said they had seen discrimination in housing against LGBT elders.
“I did a workshop recently for an organization and had a woman come up to me afterward who identified herself as a lesbian,” Wayland said.
The woman told Wayland that she and her partner had both gone to a senior retirement community and that when they called to schedule appointments on numerous occasions to go and look at this facility, nobody would return their calls.
“So that’s kind of a flag, that something might be happening there,” Wayland said, “and we probably need to start looking into it.”
Wayland said that the SAGE St. Louis office is itself located in a retirement community – Tower Grove Manor Retirement Apartments, on South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis.
“A focus of SAGE has been to not duplicate services and rather build collaborative relationships with senior service providers. Tower Grove Manor actually actively sought us out and initiated this relationship. The director in 2008 recognized that the LGBT community has a large presence in South City and knew that we should be a community they work with and reach out to.”
“We now have eight housing communities on our referral network, offering independent retirement through skilled nursing. SAGE participants are welcomed to join in the activities offered at Tower Grove Manor, and this is the location of our SAGE Cafe Luncheons, where we join residents in the dining room for lunch and then social activities and educational seminars afterwards.”
“We get a lot of requests from folks who are interested in forming SAGE programs, and they come from a variety of different groups and a number of different purposes,” said Taylor.
Taylor has developed a SAGE toolkit that she sends out to the requester with the types of questions and issues they need to address.
“A lot of folks in the LGBT community are completely unaware of the national aging services network, so one of the first things we recommend is get in touch with your local office for the aging, find out what the services are in your community for older adults. Start to build a relationship with that community. We have a number of SAGE programs that are part of LGBT community centers.”
She also said that they work with lesbian and gay community centers to make sure they are “age friendly.”
“We get very focused on the issue that there is safe space for youth but we don’t tend to think of equally safe space for older adults.”
“One of the things that we know [from data is> that LGBT older adults are twice as likely to live alone than heterosexual older adults,” said Taylor. “This is really important because the vast majority of caregiving that’s provided to older people – which is the little things that we don’t think about, it’s the picking up somebody from a doctor’s appointment or stopping down at the drugstore to bring home a prescription – those things are done by spouses and children. We don’t pay home health aides to do that kind of work. But with two-thirds of LGBT older adults living alone and being four times less likely to have children, we become a community that is really reliant on having community-based services so we can stay independent.”
Taylor also said that contrary to some perceptions about affluent LGBT couples living in upscale retirement communities, studies have shown that is not always the case.
“I did see in the latest Institute of Poverty report that they did in fall of last year, a lesbian couple aged 65 and older is twice as likely to live in poverty as a heterosexual couple,” Taylor said.
Wayland said that if anyone in Missouri or Kansas would like to do an outreach and wants more education on LGBT elder adults, they should feel free to contact SAGE Metro St. Louis.
“We are willing to come and meet with groups of people that are interested in this work and do whatever we can do to help support this work in this area of our country,” she said.
Taylor agreed and said, “I really try to get folks in touch with SAGE programs of similar size and geographic regions because that’s who really knows how to talk to communities in those places.”
For more information:
SAGE St. Louis
www.sagemetrostl.org (also on Facebook)
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
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Is there any cost?
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Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.