Intergenerational Programs Thrive in Rural Minnesota

by Beth Baker. This post originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Rick Ramey, 82, has always loved monarch butterflies. So when his community of Moose Lake, Minn., built a new public pavilion, he floated the idea of establishing butterfly gardens there.

“I thought this was an ideal spot, down by the river,” he said. The community embraced the idea, and before long Ramey was organizing children to plant marsh milkweed, a food source for monarchs. He now is invited to local schools to teach students about the butterfly life cycle.

Among those working alongside Ramey in planting the gardens was Sebastien Blondo, 11. “I’ve always loved butterflies and the monarch,” he said. He’s learned a lot volunteering with.... Read More

             

New York City Program Brings Generations Together

by Beth Baker. This piece originally appeared on Next Avenue.

A large room fills with older adults and teenagers in the New York City headquarters of the nonprofit DOROT. They sit down on opposite sides of two long rows of tables filled with black-and-white chess sets.

Dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, Jessica Nooney, who says she is “almost 80,” plays with Joelle Garcia, 15. Nooney learned chess as a child from her father.

“I’ve always loved to play, and I’m so happy to play with young people,” she says. Unlike when she was raising her teenage children, she adds, “It’s a different relationship when you don’t have to be the authority figure. It’s a.... Read More

             

Recap: 2017 Fall Couples Retreat for Older Lesbians in Chicago

Older lesbian couples in urban settings continue to seek community events that address their needs.  In response, I created a Fall and Spring weekend retreat for a small group of lesbian couples in the Chicagoland area in 2013. In November 2017, the 4th annual older lesbian couples retreat was held in Westchester, IL. As facilitator and Life Coach, I presented sessions on self actualization, finding purpose, defining relationship goals, and effective communication.

LGBT aging resources for financial planning and long term care was also provided. In addition, Terri Worman, AARP Associate State Director for the Greater Chicagoland.... Read More

             

Taking aging and caregiving as they come: an interview with Betty Thomson

A torso shot of a dark-skinned, Vietnamese person with shaved black hair and black glasses smile. liz wears a ruffled, dusty pink dress with a heather gray, long-sleeved sweater.Elizabeth (liz) Anh Thomson (they/them/theirs) identifies as a bi/queer, Vietnamese adoptee, disabled, gender non-conforming, cisgender female. They were adopted from Vietnam in 1974 by two sisters, Alva (ma) and Betty Thomson (mom). They were raised in Indianapolis, IN in a predominantly white, middle class neighborhood. They studied German and Sociology in undergraduate; Master’s in Women and Gender Studies; and currently a fourth year PhD candidate in Disability Studies, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They have a passion for documentary photography, community organizing,.... Read More

             

Aging Undocumented Day Laborers Face Uncertain Future

By Jacqueline García. Click here to read this article in Spanish.

Every morning, Eduardo arrives at a day laborer center in Los Angeles to pick up his crew for the day. Depending on the working schedule, the 52-year-old man takes between two and four men to work in different projects, mainly in construction.

“Sometimes other [day labor workers] laugh at me because I often take the older men,” said Eduardo. “But I take them because they have less opportunity to be hired,” said Eduardo. For many years he also worked as a jornalero, a day laborer doing different types of work, such as gardening, construction, loading, plumbing and other physical work.

One of his most loyal workers is Gerardo,.... Read More

             

Beautiful

Last month, I was in New York City to celebrate reaching another decade with four of my friends. Three of these friends I have known since high school, and we were roommates at one time or another in college. My son, Aiden, calls them his “aunties,” because they have loved him through his transition and love him the same today.

We decided on New York, because it got the most votes from all of us and there is so much to do. For me it was a chance to spend time with my college friends and they gave.... Read More

             

Aging as LGBT: Two Stories

by Heron Greenesmith. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).

Unfortunately, Jackie’s story.... Read More

             

Black, Gray and Gay: The Perils of Aging LGBTQ People of Color

by Chandra Thomas Whitfield. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C.

She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders.

“I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see.... Read More

             

“We need to ensure that older adults are centered in the LGBT movement.”

We’re continuing our Pride Month series of interviews with staff from SAGE || Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders. Today, we’re talking with Karalin Sprague, Manager of Lifelong Learning. Kara tells us about the exciting programming for LGBTQ older adults and allies happening at SAGE Centers around the city, and the most moving moments from Pride Month 2017.

What is your role with SAGE?
I’m the Manager of Lifelong Learning, which means that I oversee all of the programming related to art, culture, education, socialization and technology across SAGE’s five New York City sites. I have a bird’s eye view of our programs across the city, so.... Read More

             

Finding a Place to Call Home: Dr. Dio Gica Talks SAGE, Pride Month, and Housing for LGBT Older Adults

It’s LGBT Pride Month, and we’re celebrating all month long with a series of interviews with staff at SAGE || Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders. Today’s interview is with Dr. Diosdado Gica, Chief Program Officer. Dio presented with the Diverse Elders Coalition during the 2017 Aging in America conference in Chicago, IL. Here he talks about Pride Month, intersectionality, and what it means to have a safe place to call your home.

What is your role with SAGE?
I am SAGE’s Chief Program Officer, and in addition to managing the direct services we provide here in.... Read More

             
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