New support group for LGBT caregivers

Friday, December 02, 2011

November was National Caregiver month celebrating the more than 50 million Americans caring for family members, friends, neighbors and loved ones. Families care for a greater number of chronically ill or disabled loved ones than institutions do, shouldering the enormous responsibility of balancing self-care and the needs of another person. While many communities on the culture spectrum are caregivers, the LGBT community faces a unique set of circumstances and despite some progress in LGBT civil rights, the needs of LGBT caregivers are often not met.

SAGE, the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT adults, says that LGBT older adults often avoid seeking needed services out of fear of discrimination. The tendency for LGBT older adults to go "back in the closet" is particularly distinct in situations where they are most vulnerable - such as when accessing home health care or residing in assisted living or residential care facilities.

Culturally sensitive policies and services are not in place to meet the growing needs of LGBT elders and their caregivers. Many LGBT elders are being cared for by spouses, friends and neighbors. Here at Strong Families we believe that all families matter, no matter how your family was formed or who’s in it, which is why we are excited to support SAGE’s newest program: a national telephonic support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) caregivers.

The caregiver support group will provide a safe space for caregivers to get emotional support discuss their needs, the needs of their loved ones, and share information and resources. SAGE recognizes that the well-being of everyone involved in care.

For more information about the support group or to learn more about SAGE please click here.

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