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.


With the great advancements in how HIV is managed and the success of antiretroviral therapies, people living with HIV are aging successfully into their elder years. Additionally, mid- and later-life adults are continuing to become newly infected with HIV. According to the latest CDC surveillance data, 48.8 percent of people living with HIV in the Philadelphia metropolitan area are age 50 or over. An additional 24.6 percent are between the ages of 40-49. 

The need to belong is primal in human beings. Not belonging, or being in a state of loneliness, is detrimental to our overall well-being. As many people age, they lose partners and friends, which makes them susceptible to being alone. For many LGBT elders who lose a partner or friends, the situation can be even more dire. Without the familial unit that many heterosexual couples share, LGBT elders are often on their own in many situations, with no one to turn to.

Each year, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conducts the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP). This survey provides critical information on federally funded aging programs created and authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA), including transportation services, caregiver support, adult day care, senior centers, health and wellness programs, legal-assistance services, longterm-care ombudsman services to residents of nursing homes and elder-abuse protection.

Millions of Americans, including children, adults and seniors, need long-term-care services as a result of disabling conditions and chronic illnesses. These services range from institutional care, such as nursing homes, to community-based supports, such as having a home health aide. Long-term-care services are generally needed when daily tasks, such as eating, bathing and dressing, become difficult for someone to do on his or her own.

Activism doesn’t simply mean chaining yourself to a building or participating in protests. Activists are people who try to elicit social change, and today activism takes many forms. Since the new administration took office, it seems as if things are changing daily. It is hard to keep track of all the possible policy changes that may impact our lives. The constant deluge of information is overwhelming for many people, and infuriating to others. If you find yourself wanting to get more involved but not knowing how, here are a few suggestions.

 

With the holiday season upon us, many of us are preparing to join with family and friends to celebrate our holiday traditions with the important people in our lives. However, the holiday season can also come with many challenges, producing new stresses and heightening existing anxieties. 

No matter our age, we have a vast array of needs that we must care for throughout our lives. Caring for our physical health, emotional wellness and social connections is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention.

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