3rd Annual LGBTQ Senior Summit
On August 5, 2017, One Iowa will present the 3rd Annual LGBTQ Senior Summit at Grandview University. Formerly known as “Gay & Gray in the Midwest”, this event brings LGBTQ elders, allies, and advocates together with providers of healthcare, housing, and other services. This year’s summit will broaden the conversation about the needs of aging LGBTQ Iowans; help make connections between individuals, communities, and resources; and help LGBTQ seniors understand their rights.
LGBT Aging Survey
In 2014, One Iowa conducted a preliminary LGBT Aging Survey.
While LGBT elders confront the same health, housing and social issues that all elders face, they must also deal with the additional challenges of isolation, discrimination and lack of understanding.
According to our survey of LGBT elders (based on nearly 500 respondents):
- 36.7 percent of LGBT elders live alone. This means LGBT elders rely less on children and family to take care of them.
- As a result, elders depend mostly on a “family of choice,” many of whom are not acknowledged by official policies and laws. This can create some significant problems later in life.
- Most surprisingly, many LGBT elders go back into the closet when they go into longterm care.
This is unacceptable, and One Iowa is working to change this unfortunate reality for many LGBT elders. We are meeting with elders in their homes and communities, learning about the problems they face, and documenting their stories. Our survey and focus groups help us assess the social, financial and health issues impacting our LGBT elders. We provide information about healthcare options, and education to providers and the public. In addition, we suggest strategies for reform and create advocacy opportunities with policymakers.
Working with our elders and with nonprofit, policy, health and corporate leaders, One Iowa thoughtfully and respectfully makes a difference in how our LGBT community ages in Iowa.