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New Initiative Reaches Out To UP’s Aging LGBT Community

Help is being made available to assist the Upper Peninsula’s aging LGBT community.

SAGE Metro Detroit, in partnership with the ACLU of Michigan, received a grant of nearly $400,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to launch a statewide LGBT and Aging Initiative in the state of Michigan.

The program focuses on the concerns of LGBT older adults who are isolated, both physically and mentally.

One of the three main regions targeted for this initiative is the UP.

UPCAP’s Area Agency on Aging, SAIL, and UP Rainbow Pride are working together to connect LGBT older adults to necessary resources and peer support.

Many older LGBT adults are not comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation and will only reach out for support when they are enduring a health crisis.

This initiative will help provide resources and connection for those looking for local community support.

Those needing services can call SAIL at 906-228-5744, UPCAP at 906-786-4701 or email U.P. Rainbow Pride at uprainbowpride@gmail.com.

Here is the full press release:

SAGE Metro Detroit Launches LGBT and Aging Initiative

The collaborative effort will help reduce isolation and improve care for LGBT
older adults in three Michigan regions

Michigan – August 16, 2018 – SAGE Metro Detroit, in partnership with the ACLU of Michigan received a nearly $400,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to launch a statewide LGBT and Aging Initiative for 2017-2018.

The effort focuses on the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) older adults who live in a variety of Michigan locations, many of whom are isolated, both physically and mentally. This initiative will help provide resources and connection for those looking for local community support. Access to care, reduced isolation, and awareness of inclusive resources are key outcomes for this initiative.

“We find that many LGBT older adults do not feel comfortable sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and reach out for support only when they are enduring a health crisis.  Not feeling accepted by your local community or personal healthcare provider increases the isolation experienced in LGBT seniors, leaving them at risk for serious health concerns,” shares Terry Irving of the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress’ Area Agency on Aging (UPCAP).

In the Upper Peninsula region, UPCAP, SAIL and U.P. Rainbow Pride are working together to connect to LGBT older adults through messaging that shares the call to action: Today is THE DAY.

“Today is the day to reach out to us; we encourage LGBT older adults to pick up the phone and call us to start a conversation.” Explains David Shew, Co-Chair of U.P. Rainbow Pride. Those needing services can call SAIL at 906-228-5744, UPCAP at 906-786-4701 or email U.P. Rainbow Pride at uprainbowpride@gmail.com.

As part of the initiative, SAGE Metro Detroit is developing new state-of-the-art online training for service providers which includes downloadable informational content and an interactive platform with opportunities to practice and report progress.  The initiative also aims to help each region identify LGBT-inclusive local resources and provide printed materials that will be available for distribution by participating agencies.

With funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, an organization that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of healthcare, with a special focus on children and seniors, SAGE Metro Detroit’s LGBT and Aging Initiative will be an ongoing effort throughout the remainder of 2018.

For more information on this initiative, visit lgbtseniorsmi.com. More information about the Health Fund can be found at www.mhealthfund.com.

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