LGBT Elder Americans Act
There are an estimated 1.5 million LGBT seniors in America today. By 2030, this number is expected to double. LGBT seniors are an extremely vulnerable population, many of whom will have to face the challenges of advanced or terminal illness without the traditional support systems and legal protections that other seniors can take for granted. As LGBT adults enter their later years, they are forced to navigate a series of unique and complex barriers. Discrimination in housing, employment, and healthcare has made many LGBT older adults subject to an increased risk for social isolation and higher poverty rates.
What is the LGBT Elder Americans Act?
The LGBT Elder Americans Act 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 legislation 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 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.
Action in the 112th Congress
The LGBT Elder Americans Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) on September 19, 2012 (S. 3575).
What is the Current Status of the Bill?
The LGBT Elder Americans Act is expected to soon be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.
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Last Updated: January 3, 2013