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AARP AARP States Caregiving

Serving an Aging LGBTQ Population in North Carolina


Bob Tomasulo is a VOCAB in the Mountain Region of western North Carolina. He currently serves on many boards in the Asheville area, but the one perhaps closest to his heart is LGBTQ Elder Advocates of WNC. This group represents LGBTQ older adults on aging issues. It is part of the Land of Sky Area Agency on Aging. Bob explains, “We educate providers and consumers on resources in the community and how to access them. For providers we supply training to better serve LGBTQ clients through awareness and understanding.”

An important part of his work happens to also be the most fun. “Too many older LGBTQ adults are isolated or alienated from their families, so social activities like picnics, game nights, and holay parties are incredibly meaningful for them." The Board has sponsored a number of these, often with other local partners, and no matter how modest the event, the response from the older LGBTQ community is always terrific.

When asked about the impact of his work, Bob says: "As far as I know, LGBTQ Elder Advocates is the only local group serving this community, and my work on their board informs my work on other boards like Council of Aging and Land of Sky Regional Council. I don't want older LGBTQ adults to be ignored or shortchanged inside the larger older adult community service organizations in Asheville. Serving on all three boards helps ensure that."

Each month we’ll feature a story from the field that relates to that month’s theme. We encourage you to complete this impact form so that we have a current record of the wide variety of roles our volunteers play on commissions and boards. Link to tell us your story.

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