Deb Haaland Moves to Protect LGBTQ Older Adults
Experts predict that as many as 4.7 million LGBTQ older adults will need care and services by the year 2030. Just recently, the Human Rights Campaign and Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders announced a historic partnership to make long-term care more inclusive of LGBTQ older adults. To help prepare, Congresswomen Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) have introduced the Elder Pride Act, which the pair said would help address a lifetime of discrimination that has resulted in less financial security, more social isolation, and specific healthcare needs for older LGBT Americans. “All people deserve to be healthy and secure in old age, but the struggles that our LGBTQ+ communities endured for years have put their wellbeing in old age at risk,” said Haaland, a member of the Equality Caucus. “The Elder Pride Act will ensure there are programs available to address some of the symptoms of decades of discrimination, so LGBTQ+ people of a certain age have the same level of opportunities as everyone else.” The legislation would amend the Older American Act by establishing an office of Inclusivity and Sexual Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, including an Assistant Director of LGBTQ+ Policy; supporting research on the LGBTQ+ aging population; creating a grant program to help support organizations that serve older Americans conducting programs that connect LGBTQ+ seniors with their non-LGBTQ+ peers and local LGBTQ+ organizations; and making grant funding available to organizations to conduct training programs to serve LGBTQ+ seniors and other vulnerable populations. More here.