In assessing the needs of LGBT citizens in Southeastern North Carolina, the Frank Harr Foundation has recognized that senior adults in these communities have much to offer, as they experience significant challenges within limited support systems. Therefore, we have made services to these populations an area of priority for our organization, as we cultivate investments from healthcare agencies, local governments, and even recreational and cultural venues, in meeting the needs of LGBT seniors.
We are fortunate to be able to join forces, in this effort, with a national organization that has a 30-year track record of outreach – SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders). Our affiliation with SAGE will connect us with a nationwide network of similar programs, and open doors for resources and expertise that would otherwise be difficult to access in the geographic isolation of the Cape Fear Coast. This collaboration will raise awareness of the challenges and needs of LGTB seniors, typically unrecognized in aging and end-of-life considerations, offering strategies for inclusion.
Equipped with the data from our groundbreaking new survey of the health and human service needs of LGBT people who live in Southeastern North Carolina, the Frank Harr Foundation will work with community partners like the Area Agency on Aging, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to assess the needs and resources of these populations, informed and inspired by the mission of SAGE:
To improve the overall quality of life for LGBT seniors,
To foster a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and
To promote positive images of LGBT life in later years.
As our healthcare system undergoes maximum changes with minimum funding, lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual (LGTB) elders stand at a crossroad, as they watch the prioritizing of resources and wonder if their moment of recognition has finally arrived.
Providers seeking to bridge the gaps in service are challenged by their own unfamiliarity with the unique needs of LGTB seniors, as they endeavor to stay current in an ever-changing cultural landscape.
Join us, as we explore some of the fundamental awareness that can empower healthcare agencies and professionals in their outreach to these underserved communities.