When I stepped off the plane coming back from Iraq in late 2006, I was met by family and loved ones who celebrated my return and greeted me with warm hugs and kind words. This helped immensely to start my conversion back to a life at home—a non-combat world off the battlefield and away from daily threats to life and limb and mental well-being. For those who served before me, specifically those who were in Vietnam, their homecoming was vastly different.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center offers the most comprehensive suite of programs and services for LGBT older adults in the country. The Center has more than 3,500 LGBT older adult clients and offers services and programs such as medical care, housing, enrichment and educational programming, nutrition service, support groups, case management and a statewide training program for providers working with LGBT older adults.
Like many who direct senior centers or nonprofits serving LGBT older adults, I consistently look for ways to better serve my clients and support my staff. With tight budgets and multiple demands, it’s not always easy, and can be rather daunting. Poverty, isolation and disability create a trifecta for LGBT older adults that often precipitates functional and cognitive decline.
Millions of Americans—as many as 43.5 million according to a recent national survey—are engaged in providing care for family members or friends who are ill or disabled.
A Smart Approach: Tech Design that Keeps Older End Users in Mind
The subject of elder mistreatment featured prominently in the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, with commentary from experts, as well as from President Obama, who said, “We’re going to train more prosecutors in how to combat elder abuse.” That is one place to start.
His wife of 50 years thought he was crazy. But when Jack jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 feet, attached to a skydiving instructor, it was the most thrilling thing he’d done in years—and one more item to scratch off of his bucket list. Jack’s jump represented his expanding mentality toward aging and retirement: do it now, do it fast and don’t spare the excitement and adventure.