Gettin' On

Gettin’ On examines topics of interest and importance to all members of the LGBT communities as we age. LGBT older adults have faced lifetimes of discrimination, stigmatization, marginalization, and criminalization. As a result, we face unique issues and challenges to aging successfully. Gettin’ On focuses on those issues and highlights resources and solutions that will help all members of the communities to age successfully at every age.


It is often thought older adults have little knowledge of, or interest, in technology and the internet. In a generation that did not grow up with smartphones or computers, many elders express some hesitation about relying on technology. Yet, as the baby-boom generation ages, an increasing number of older adults are actively utilizing technology to reduce isolation, manage health conditions and connect with vital information.

One may have noticed recently an abundance of ads from TV to billboards for Medicare Advantage plans. This signals that Medicare Open Enrollment is upon us. From Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, all Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to decide which type of healthcare coverage they want for 2019. For many, this can be a daunting task given that there are more than 25 (yes, 25!) Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and prescription-drug plans to choose from in Philadelphia alone. But having some information and knowing where to get help can make this process a little easier to handle.

Abuse against older adults is a public-health issue that impacts seniors, their families and communities across the United States. The size of the older-adult population is expected to nearly double in the next 30 years. These demographic shifts mean that the number of people potentially affected by elder abuse is ever-growing.

Norma Tramel was confined to the isolation and stigmatization of life in a nursing home for four years after suffering a ruptured hernia that put her in a coma. Once she regained her health, she began to yearn for the freedom that was taken away from her.

The past year saw several attempts to enact policies and legislation that would negatively impact LGBT older adults. Many of these efforts are set to continue in 2018, requiring us to be vigilant against any attempts to deny civil rights, benefits and services that older members of our LGBT communities rely upon.

With the holiday season upon us, many of us will be going off to celebrate with friends, families and loved ones. The season can be quite difficult for others, especially for people experiencing isolation.

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