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.

What do you want your retirement to look like? For most, the answers to this question follow similar themes. We want time to relax and enjoy leisure activities. We want the opportunity to vacation in our favorite destinations and travel to new places around the globe. We want to cherish the time spent with family, friends and loved ones.

For the past four years, the delivery of aging services in Pennsylvania has been guided by a strategic-planning document published by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in 2012. The 2012-16 State Plan on Aging, completed under the Corbett administration, laid out the goals, objectives and strategies for helping older Pennsylvanians access care, navigate services and age healthfully.

Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day highlights the damage caused by the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults. Pennsylvania, it should be noted, has the fourth-largest population of seniors in the country. By 2020, about 3.3-million Pennsylvanians are expected to be over the age of 60. As this population increases, the abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults is becoming a critical issue we cannot ignore.

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the epidemic has had a direct and reciprocal link to substance use and addiction. While various efforts have helped to raise public awareness of the risk that intravenous drug use has in the contraction of HIV, less attention has been paid to the other ways that substance use impacts HIV-positive populations.  

You’re flat on your back on your doctor’s exam table, feet in the stirrups. Or talking with a potential or longtime lover, wondering how — or if — to bring up the subject of sex. In these situations, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what to say, do or expect?

The year 2015 clearly saw tremendous advances for the LGBT community. From marriage equality to representation in politics and the media, the past 12 months have been a time of progress. While 2015 was undoubtedly an important year, events that will transpire in 2016 at the national, state and local levels may have an even greater impact on how LGBT older adults will be supported as they age.

Visiting the doctor can seem like a hassle. It can be nerve-wracking, or it can just be downright unpleasant. It is not unheard of for many people to report confusion after an appointment. It is therefore important for people of any age to arm themselves with the skills and knowledge to become their own best advocate.

All members of the LGBTQ communities, and our allies, are long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS. The roles that each of us has played during the three-and-a-half decades of the crisis have shaped the course of our lives, the components of our personalities and the contexts of our relationships. The impact has affected each of us as individuals and collectively as a community.

Given the growing evidence that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline, the Alzheimer’s Association and its experts are sharing tips that may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

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