HRC Endorses Bill to Aid LGBT Elders
September 20, 2012 by Andrea Levario, Senior Public Policy Advocate
Yesterday, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2012, S. 3575. The legislation aims to broaden the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address the needs of older LGBT Americans. The OAA, initially enacted in 1965, ensures older people have continued community and health supports needed to maintain their health as they age.
The LGBT Elder Americans Act would build upon the existing law by providing increases in federal funding to service organizations serving LGBT seniors and their caregivers. Of particular importance, the measure would codify guidance issued earlier this year by the Administration on Aging (AoA), that empowered AoA-funded aging providers to consider LGBT older adults as a population of “greatest social need”—paving the way for increased services that can significantly improve their health and well-being. It also calls for the collection of data relating to discrimination against LGBT older adults.
To ensure that caregivers, families, and health professionals have access to the most current resources on cultural competency training and aging providers, the bill permanently establishes the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
HRC worked closely with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and Senator Bennet’s staff on this important measure and is advocating for its provisions to be incorporated into legislation reauthorizing the OAA, due for consideration next year.
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