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Thursday, October 22, 2009

HRC Applauds Creation of LGBT Elders Resource Center at Department of Health and Human Services

Grant Program Will Assist LGBT Organizations, Mainstream Aging Service Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to establish a national resource center to help communities support and serve their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders.  Through its Administration on Aging, HHS will award a single resource grant in the amount of $250,000 annually, depending on the availability of funds.  According to HHS, the center will provide resources to LGBT organizations, as well assisting mainstream aging services providers in developing cultural competence in serving LGBT elders.

Despite the many advances our community has seen, LGBT elders face significant discrimination from senior care providers, including in places where we are most vulnerable, such as assisted living facilities and end-of-life care,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “As more and more openly LGBT people reach their later years, it is incredibly important to ensure that we are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.  We applaud HHS for taking this important step on behalf of older LGBT Americans.”

HRC and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) host a collaborative forum on LGBT aging issues, available at  As part of the New Beginning Initiative, coordinated by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, SAGE has advocated for policy changes that would benefit LGBT elders.  Earlier this month, the Administration on Aging issued the first-ever grant focused on LGBT aging to the Los Angeles LGBT Community Service Center. 

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