65 is the New 80

This article originally appeared in A&U Magazine.

As I write this article, slightly more than a month before my 65th birthday, I wish was eagerly anticipating a lovely fun-filled celebration. But I know better. I will most likely spend the day in bed with the covers pulled over my head, wondering, “What the hell happened?!”

Not that long ago—although it feels like a lifetime—I was a very active, respected wrestler and amateur MMA fighter—I have a championship belt hanging on my wall that I won in an eight-man MMA tournament in 2001 at age forty-eight. Today,.... Read More

             

Texans With HIV Cope With Homes And Medicines Ruined By Hurricane Harvey

This story by Kaiser Health News senior national correspondent Sarah Varney aired Nov. 24, 2017, on Here & Now.

Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeastern Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills.

She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. “They were looking and crying, like, ‘We’re gonna lose everything,’” said Soloman. “And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll be OK.’”

When the water began rushing under the front door, filling up the house like a bathtub, Soloman led her family outside, and plunged into a river of water up to her chest.

The hurricane couldn’t have come at a worse time.... Read More

             

Kintsugi: A Survivor’s Reflection on World AIDS Day 2017

This article originally appeared in A&U Magazine.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they emphasize the damage by filling in the cracks with gold.

They believe that when something has suffered damage and has history, it becomes more beautiful than before.

This is kintsugi, the art of “fixing with gold.”

We were broken.
Thirty-six years ago, a virus invaded our community, invaded our bodies. It destroyed hundreds of thousands of us. Those of us whom the virus couldn’t kill, it left broken—physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually broken.

We have suffered damage.
Those of us who carry the virus inside.... 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

             

Now Available: SAGE Health Storylines Self-Care App

This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

SAGE Website Banner

The SAGE Health Storylines self-care app makes it easy for older adults and caregivers to track their health. When you open the app, you will see a variety of tools including medication tracker, daily moods and symptom tracker which allow you to build your health story. The My Storylines feature allows you to learn more about your health, and to share more – safely and securely – with your doctor about what happened between visits.

This app was designed in partnership with.... Read More

             

Fighting for Our Lives – Again!

Recently, I marched with thousands of other people in a candlelit rally here in San Francisco. We marched in unity – LGBTQ folks, women, undocumented immigrants, elderly straight folks, young kids, African Americans, Latinos – all the marginalized people who face dire and immediate threats from the Trump administration. We marched and chanted. We held each other, we commiserated, we cried and laughed, we pledged to support each other and to work together against the forces of racism and bigotry that have won this temporary victory at the polls. We pledged solidarity.

Then, about half a block down Castro, I was stopped, frozen in my tracks by a hand on my chest.

There was no one in front of me.

.... Read More
             

What LGBT Seniors Stand to Lose in ACA Repeal

This post originally appeared on the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation website.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) older adults face many of the same health and aging challenges other older adults face, but more pronounced. As a result, they are arguably more at risk if the incoming administration and Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement plan and/or makes significant and harmful changes to Medicaid and Medicare.

LGBT older adults face unique risks within the health care system due to the standard issues facing an aging population combined with their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as:

Aging Combined with Discrimination: Similar to the older population in general, LGBT older adults.... Read More
             

Where Bigotry is Denied Entrance—Fighting HIV/AIDS Stigma in Housing

by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.

On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.

.... Read More
             

Telling Our Stories for World AIDS Day 2016

wad2016_cropEach year on December 1st, we join millions of individuals and organizations around the globe in commemorating World AIDS Day. The prevention of HIV/AIDS – as well as the continued care of those living with HIV – has always been a top priority for the Diverse Elders Coalition and the communities we represent.

In 2014, we released our policy brief, “Eight Policy Recommendations for Improving the Health and Wellness of Older Adults with HIV,” recommendations for which we continue to fight and advocate today. In 2015, we created an infographic, Facts and Factors: HIV and Diverse.... Read More

             

Why Mary’s House? (Again.)

People often ask me, “Why do we need a place for LGBT older people to live? Don’t we have enough nursing homes and retirement homes for them to use?”

So I often share the story of John, a well-to-do gay elder who was found deceased — in his welcoming, upscale retirement complex. He had stopped going to church. He had stopped playing cards and going to the clubs. He had stopped interacting with his friends.

marys

Or I sometimes share the sorrow of my older friend, Helen, who after the death of her partner, was asked by her partner’s siblings to leave the.... Read More

             
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