Most older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults in America are concerend about having adequate social and family support as they get older, according to the results of an AARP survey that suggests the needs of the older LGBT community are multifaceted and, in many cases, are not being adequately met.
“There are a number of fears and concerns that older LGBT adults have when it comes to having fair access to things like affordable housing to health care to long-term care,” Beau Ballinger, an AARP community engagement officer who supports the organization’s LGBT outreach, said during a recent Facebook Live hosted by AARP Wisconsin.
Ballinger pointed to a 2018 survey of the LGBT community that he says has helped AARP navigate a relatively new area of advocacy for the 62-year-old organization. With nearly 1 million LGBT members, Ballinger notes AARP is one of the community’s largest member advocacy organizations.
“I would say, within the last three or four years, we’ve been more proactive in taking advocacy stances for our LGBT members,” he said. “What we do, we do for all. And we take that to heart at AARP. And that means we’re showing up for people 50 and older no matter what.”
In highlighting the AARP’s advocacy efforts, Ballinger pointed to an amicus brief AARP filed last year in support of LGBT workers who were fired in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which had advanced to the Supreme Court. In June, the court ruled in favor of those workers, in a decision that says federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ballinger also pointed to a caregiving guide developed specifically for the LGBT community by AARP and the Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders non-profit, as well as an AARP’s call center dedicated to answering questions from and supporting older LGBT adults. Anyone can call toll-free at 866-PRIDE-50 (or 866-774-3350)
Watch Ballinger’s presentation on AARP Wisconsin’s Facebook page, and see related content on AARP’s LGBT Pride page.
This story is provided by AARP Wisconsin. Visit the AARP Wisconsin page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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