Action Wellness offers assistance for LGBTQ community members with chronic illness

Action Wellness offers assistance for LGBTQ community members with chronic illness

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Living with a chronic illness can be exhausting.

It can be overwhelming to manage medical appointments, diagnostic tests, pharmacy services and medication schedules. It is therefore vital to find the support to conserve energy and manage stress.

Action Wellness (formerly ActionAIDS) is committed to helping people living with chronic diseases sustain and enhance their quality of life. Our services include medical-case management, health screenings, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing and volunteer services.

Thousands of men, women and children who are faced with the challenges of living with HIV and other chronic illnesses invite us into their lives. Action Wellness volunteers and staff focus on building relationships to deliver individualized services. We are committed to building a strong, diverse and committed community of caring individuals to ensure that no one faces their illness alone.

Action Wellness has a long and rich history of providing services to the LGBTQ community, including specialized medical-case management; assistance with emergency needs, housing support as well as HIV testing and prevention education. According to our most recent client data, an estimated 33 percent of those served by Action Wellness in 2017 identify within the LGBTQ community.

Medical case-management services can help LGBTQ elders navigate the complex care-delivery system. Case managers schedule appointments, facilitate access to benefits and entitlements, medications, transportation, housing assistance programs — all while providing emotional support and reassurance. Case managers are brokers for a wide range of services, with the goal of maximizing impact and achieving results. 

In 2015, with support from the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF), Action Wellness piloted a medical case-management program exclusively for LGBTQ elders. The program targeted LGBTQ adults aged over 50 who were living with poorly managed chronic illnesses such as HIV, diabetes, cancer and renal failure. Since its inception, our program has engaged more than 40 LGBTQ older adults with chronic illnesses, enabling them to access primary medical care and a host of supportive services.

For clients living with chronic conditions who are in search of companionship, the Buddy Program at Action Wellness offers an empathetic volunteer who sustains a personal relationship, sharing meaningful quality time on a regular basis. Action Wellness provides preliminary training and ongoing peer support for Buddies throughout their service. This program is one of the oldest and largest Buddy programs in the U.S. and serves more than 250 individuals and families each year.

If you are living with HIV or any chronic illness, please call us at 215-981-0088 and ask to speak with an intake staff member who would be happy to discuss how we might be of assistance. Our goal is to partner with you to achieve wellness. 

Kevin Burns, LCSW, is the executive director of Action Wellness. To learn more about Action Wellness, visit www.ActionWellness.org.


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