LGBTEI talks long-term care
by Angela Thomas
Mar 20, 2014 | 521 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The LGBT Elder Initiative will host a forum to tackle problems within the long-term-care system for older adults.

LGBTEI will present Staying OUT in Long-Term Care from 10 a.m.-noon March 22 at the United Way building, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.

The program is free to the public and a light breakfast will be served.

Staying OUT is part of the LGBTEI’s Conversations series, which consists of informative courses on topics surrounding the LGBT older-adult community.

LGBTEI chair Heshie Zinman said long-term care is relevant to everyone in the community — whether they are planning for themselves or others.

“LGBT folks care for their loved ones in their families of choice and have to make all kinds of plans for themselves and their loved ones with regards to long-term care,” he said. “We wanted to have a conversation so we could bring the resources and information necessary about planning for long-term care. We shouldn’t walk into situations blindly. Long-term care is another situation that we will come across in our lifetime.”

Zinman said Staying OUT will include a presentation about individual rights and a panel discussion featuring five individuals who have experience in long-term care. There will also be a question-and-answer session.

A recent study presented by the Equal Rights Center found that LGBT seniors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are experiencing discrimination even before they enter the long-term facilities. Zinman said programs such as Staying OUT can help bring attention to needed statewide legislation to help prevent discrimination.

“We know when you present yourself as a same-sex couple looking for housing, you have a 42-percent chance of being discriminated against in one way or more than one way. We wanted to educate people that you can be discriminated against and you need to advocate for the passage of House and Senate Bill 300.”

That long-stalled legislation would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Staying OUT is supported by PGN and the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund and is presented by the LGBTEI in collaboration with the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, Philadelphia Long-Term Ombudsman Program and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

To register for the event or for more information, email info@lgbtei.org or call 267-546-3448.

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