Dallas, TX, April 15, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- The Silver Tsunami is defined as the alarmingly high number of people who will require assistance as they age – the population born during the years of 1946-1964, commonly referred to as the “baby boomers.” That sector of the population is age 50, and above. Further research has also shown that by the year 2030, 92 million people will be over the age of 60, and approximately 5-7 million of those will be members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. The fallout of the Silver Tsunami will present the most catastrophic needs of modern history in overwhelming proportions to every human service known. The aging population literally explodes.
Aging for any person has its challenges, but the challenges for the LGBT are complicated even further. According to the latest US Census, there is an estimated 30,000+ members of the LGBT community living in Dallas County ages 45 to 90+. Also according to the census, 27% of all people ages 65+ are living alone. There are many programs developed for non-LGBT citizens, however access to these programs for LGBT citizens is a challenge due to possible discrimination or LGBT citizens unable (or unwilling) to not live their lives according to their orientation – basically going back into the closet. Currently there is no single organization addressing these vast human needs for the LGBT Community in North Texas.
Some of the unique problems/challenges facing the mature LGBT community: • Loneliness due to loss of life partner or long term relationship, • no children for many members of the community and limited family to provide care and companionship, • loss of interest in personal enrichment activities outside the home due to limited (or no) sense of community and/or companionship, • Travel • Arts & Crafts • Culinary Skills • Limited or no LGBT welcoming transitional living facilities, • Lack of social settings or groups, • Unique financial and legal situations that members face, • Possible poor diet due to eating alone and loss of interest, • No link between the young and the mature members of the community – a need for mentoring and relationship building, • Understanding the stages of the aging process and how that may be unique [for LGBT people], • Grief counseling oriented toward this population.
The multitude of problems facing the aging LGBT Community are significant, and will ultimately affect the vast majority of the community at-large. This requires immediate action to create programs and make cultural changes to insure the quality of life and dignity. The Coalition for Aging, LGBT (“The Coalition”) has begun by arranging meetings with members of the LGBT Community, Senior Source, Resource Center, ED-U-Care Dallas, and other orgs. The Coalition was invited to participate in the National Elder Housing Summit at The White House in Feb 2015.
A DFW Summit on LGBT Aging is tentatively set for June 2015. This summit will provide the opportunity to gain further inputs from citizens and potential service providers. Rather than creating new services or organizations, The Coalition is focused on bringing existing service providers into a network of referral services for the LGBT Community.
More about the work can be learned, and engagement opportunities with The Coalition at WWW.CFA.LGBT