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LGBT Aging

Alexandre Rheaume cared for by partner Lawrence Johnson
Stu Maddux

According to research most of us will need some form of assistance to maintain our desired quality of life, independence and dignity as we age. Dealing with declining health, loss of ability and accepting help from loved ones or paid caregivers is hard enough, for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, aging and receiving care has its unique challenges and complications.

 The Administration on Aging reports that between 1.7 to 4 million Americans age 60+ are LGBT. Because this demographic is more likely to live alone and may not have immediate family able to help, planning for needed care in later life is a critical issue. According to a 2010 national survey of 769 gay elders, care providers, and family members found that 328 of those interviewed reported 853 incidents of mistreatment; just 22% felt they could be open with staff about sexual orientation or gender identity.  Additionally, more than three-quarters said they would not disclose their LGBT status should they wind up in institutional care.

 Increasingly, there’s discussion about how to make life better for the older LGBT demographic (nursing staff sensitivity training, education and advocacy). “ Gen Silent,” an one-hour documentary , by filmmaker Stu Maddux, profiles six LGBT seniors  and those who care for them.  The documentary chronicles the lives of these seniors and captured their stories through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year.  It explore the challenges these men and women face and ultimately offers new hope as each person crosses paths with impassioned people trying to change LGBT aging for the better. To raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by LGBT seniors, AARP Oregon is screening this documentary in 2013 in communitites across Oregon. We are working with local partners, including LGBT Elders, Senior and Disability Services of Rogue Valley Council of Oregonand Pride Foundation and PFLAG in Eugene, to conduct free public screening of this critically-acclaimed documentary.

  Want to see the movie? Mark your calendar for the next one:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013,
Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
87 Fourth Street, Ashland (Corner of C & 4th Streets)
Refreshments Served. Download the  gen silent ashland  flier here. 



Thursday, May 23, 2013 

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Showing followed by Q&A)
Smullin Center
2825 E. Barnett Rd. Medford, OR
Sunday, August 18, 2013
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Campbell Senior Center
155 High St, Eugene, OR
For more information on LGBT aging, take a look at the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, a project of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and visit
picture courtesy of Gen Silent & Interroband Productions, LLC.
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