LGBTQ+ Older Adults

We welcome LGBTQ+ older adults and want to help them thrive. LGBTQ+ older adults know how important welcoming spaces are to communities and individuals, especially those that historically have been excluded from safe and affirming spaces. Here are some services and resources we developed with LGBTQ+ older adults in mind.

Books and More 
Enjoy a wide range books, e-books, CD books, online audio books, DVDs, online movies, music CDs and online music.

Our new bookmark (pictured above) features adult LGBTQ+ fiction and memoir. The printed version is in branches waiting for customers when libraries open to visitors. Meanwhile, you can enlarge the bookmark image to find a selection of excellent books recently written by LGBTQ+ authors. 

For sharing with younger readers, visit our LGBTQIA+ Teen Reads and our Kid’s Pride web resources.

LGBTQ+ Older Adult Interest Group
We recently created an LGBTQ+ Older Adult Interest Group to advance services, develop programming, and collaborate with community partners. We strive to ensure LGBTQ+ older adults have access to a wide range of materials and activities to enrich their lives and develop meaningful connections. 

Programs
We will launch our first set of programs specifically for LGBTQ+ older adults this winter 2020 and spring 2021, including a talk about LGBTQ+ older adults and sexual health, a winter holiday virtual gathering, and a book club with The Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Rocky Mountain region. Check back for more details soon!

For more information about library resources and programs for LGBTQ older adults, email Amy DelPo, Administrator of Older Adult Services, at adelpo@denverlibrary.org.

Community Resources
SAGE of the Rockies serves older adults (age 50+) in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Housed at The Center on Colfax, SAGE of the Rockies provides welcoming space, fun events and activities, and social support for LGBTQ+ elders. Programs and events include the online Spanish Conversation Circle, Telling Your Story, Men’s Coffee Group, Chair Yoga, Cafecito/Coffeebreak, Women’s Salon, movies, technical help, and more. Services include individual support such as the Friendly Visitor and Phone-A-Friend programs to keep older adults connected to community. 

The Center on Colfax is the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Rocky Mountain region. The Center strives to engage, empower, enrich, and advance the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community of Colorado. In addition to housing SAGE of the Rockies, The Center reports that 25% of their visitors participate in programs for older adults. 

The American Society on Aging is committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of those who seek to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families. Online webinars of interest include Money Smart for Older Adults and Covid-19 Scams, Cooking and Nutrition for Older Adults, and Alzheimer’s Caregiving during the Holidays. LGBTQ+ resources include Caring for Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of LGBT Caregivers, LGBT Inclusive Older Adult Housing  with Services, and The Affordable Care Act and LGBT Older Adults.

The national Diverse Elders Coalition advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in communities of racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people. Current campaigns focus on civic engagement, family caregiving, health reform, public education, HIV and aging, immigration reform, Medicare and Medicaid, and Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They also collect the stories of elders of color and LGBT elders to ensure their voices are included in the public narrative on aging.

The National Center for Transgender Equality knows that transgender older adults face profound challenges and experience striking disparities in areas such as quality of health and access to health care services, mental health care, employment, housing, and other areas of livelihood. Their resources include Know Your Rights: Medicare and Improving the Lives of Transgender Older Adults.

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country’s first technical assistance resource center for improving the quality of services offered to LGBTQ older adults. Their resources include Covid-19 information, advocacy tools for older adults, coming out later in life, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, end of life decisions, elder abuse, mental health, racial equity, and transgender aging. Many resources are available in Spanish as well as English. 

Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Resources for older adults include Trans Aging: We’re Still Here, Aging with Dignity, the Cost of Covid-19 for LGBT Older Adults, FAQ for Transgender and Gender-nonconforming Older Adults, Take the Power: A Toolkit for Life and Financial Planning, and Employment Discrimination and LGBT Seniors. 

By Kate Burns
 

Written by cburns on October 21, 2020