Registration for Pennsylvania’s Inaugural LGBTQ Aging Summit is now open.
As a result of grassroots efforts made by numerous LGBTQ and senior advocacy groups, the summit will be held Oct. 9-10 in Harrisburg.
“As we developed Pennsylvania’s 2016-2020 State Plan on Aging, we heard from many stakeholders who were calling for increased cultural competency, a better focus on serving diverse and hard-to-reach populations, and overall improvement of awareness and access to services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer older Pennsylvanians and their caregivers,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne.
“We intend for this summit to serve as the catalyst to connect the aging-services network directly with the LGBTQ senior community so that together we can help drive much-needed change to better serve this population.”
To plan for the summit, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging partnered with numerous LGBTQ and aging stakeholders.
“The summit will present a great opportunity for LGBTQ older Pennsylvanians to directly engage with the provider networks responsible for caring for us as we grow older,” said LGBT Elder Initiative founder Heshie Zinman.
“By bringing together LGBTQ older adult communities and aging-services providers, we have the opportunity to better understand barriers to accessing services and to develop strategies that will improve the care of our LGBTQ seniors statewide.”
In addition to coordinating the first statewide LGBTQ aging summit, the Department of Aging is represented on Gov. Wolf’s LGBT Workgroup, has held training sessions to improve cultural competency inside aging services for LGBTQ older adults, and has participated in roundtable discussions to hear directly from the LGBTQ community on how to better meet their needs.