From the LGBT Elder Initiative’s monthly column: Getting’ On inPhiladelphia Gay News
By Mimi Lewis
What comes to mind when you think about long-term care (LTC)? Chances are you are imagining a nursing home with endless games of Bingo, bad food, wheelchairs, bed pans, and less than four-star care. Maybe you know that LTC also refers to personal care boarding homes and assisted living and continuing care communities? These types of long-term care may bring to mind small, cookie-cutter apartments and fewer wheelchairs.
The trend in aging services is for increased emphasis on “aging in place,” supporting older adults through home care services. This includes various adaptations so that a person can age healthily and safely in their own home. But sometimes the level of care necessary will only be available by moving into a long-term care facility.
For almost every older adult, considering a long-term care facility is filled with stressful questions. What level of care will I need? How will I pay for this? Will my needs be met? Will I feel alone? For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults, the anxiety is heightened by fears of discrimination, isolation and mistreatment.
Retiring is such a hard thing to do, especially for an old reporter who knows the story might not be told unless he steps up.
That’s where I found myself this week when I heard about what I perceived to be an injustice. I tried to ignore it all, but my conscience would not allow it after I learned law enforcement activity on Cedar Creek Lake seemed to be targeting my community.
This is what I learned about the lake’s only LGBT bar being surrounded by police cars at the end of the evening last weekend.
In the wake of widespread social media conversations and perplexity on the part of local gay leaders, Mayor Paul Eaton promised surveillance of patrons of Gun Barrel City gay bar Garlow’s would end immediately.
In an interview after the Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 10, Eaton said he met with the owner of the gay bar and the city’s police chief that morning and had resolved the problems.
Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get. Ready to Reverse
That’s correct. Tighter rules on reverse mortgages that have recently gone into affect have made them harder to get, especially for seniors with heavy debt problems.
The reason the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made these changes was to strengthen the product, which has suffered from a struggling housing market and a growing number of defaults by borrowers. Here’s a rundown of how reverse mortgages now work in 2014.
Overview: The basics are still the same. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows senior homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their house. The loan doesn’t have to be repaid until the homeowner dies, sells the house or moves out for at least 12 months. It’s also important to know that with a reverse mortgage, you, not the bank, own the house, so you’re still responsible for property taxes, insurance and repairs.
Join co-hosts Mark McNease and Rick Rose as we welcome Djuan Trent to next week’s Aged to Perfection podcast.
A native of Columbus, Georgia, Trent moved to Kentucky in 2006, where she attended Berea College. In 2009, she graduated with her B.A. in Theatre Perfomance. Shortly thereafter, she was crowned Miss Kentucky 2010- taking home the crown and preliminary awards for Lifestyle and Fitness as well as Talent, singing her rendition of Susan Boyle’s “Up to the Mountain” . In her year of service, she traveled across The Commonwealth as a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s ”Kentucky Proud” initiative. She also dedicated much of her time to being an ambassador for homelessness awareness and prevention, focusing on her platform of giving “a hand up, not a hand out”. In January of 2011, Trent represented Kentucky in Las Vegas at the Miss America Pageant. She finished as a Top Ten Semi-Finalist, and was also voted the first ever Contestant’s Choice. It was through her experiences as Miss Kentucky, that she realized her innate ability to build connections and inspire people, through the lessons and stories she shared- especially youth and youth adults. Following her year as Miss Kentucky, Trent remained in Lexington where she worked as a relationship manager for a non-profit organization from 2011-2013. Today she works in State Government. Trent continues to travel as a motivational speaker and remains active in her community as a volunteer with organizations such as the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center,Lexington Rescue Mission, and her alma mater, Berea College. She is currently enrolled in Emerge Kentucky, a Democratic program that identifies ,trains, and encourages women to run for office. Trent currently serves on the Miss Kentucky Board of Directors and is a Co-Chair of Southerners for Freedom to Marry. For more information or booking inquiries, click here.
Date: Wednesday, April 23 Time: 7:00 p.m. eastern Call in: 888-287-3795
Show link HERE
On Saturday, May 3, 2014, the LGBTEIwill moderate a panel discussion on aging in place as part of the 2014 Equality Forum.
“Aging in Place” is designed to raise awareness of unique challenges that LGBT older adults face as they age. The panel will also discuss resources that are available to help meet those challenges.
Government funding, medical reimbursement and the aging services networks are all focusing their future models of care on a system that encourages and supports the concept of aging in place. This program will present an overview of the work being accomplished by the LGBT Elder Initiative; review progress toward an “Age-friendly Philadelphia”; describe the Village-to-Village Movement model; assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act on senior health; and outline how changes to the Older Americans Act can help LGBT older Americans to successfully age in place.
This panel discussion will be presented from 1:00 pm until 2:15 pm at The University of the Arts, Terra Hall, Room 833. Terra Hall is located at 211 South Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA. MAP
In a follow up to Cathy McNease’s column on sex and the aging woman, we’ll be airing a live Health Chat this coming Sunday on out Aged to Perfection podcast. Join us as Cathy discusses sexual, biological and emotional issues women face around sex as they age. Cathy McNease is a nationally certified herbalist with a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology from the NCCAOM, a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Western Michigan University and two Master Herbalist certificates from Emerson College of Herbology in Canada and East-West Course of Herbology in Santa Cruz.
Date: Sunday, April 20 Time: 6:30 p.m. eastern Dial in: 888-287-3795
Show link HERE.
Editor’s note: We’ll be having our next live Health Chats with Cathy McNease on Sunday, April 20, 6:30 p.m. eastern, where Cathy will continue with this topic. You can find the show link HERE.
By Cathy McNease, Herbalist
I have had many decades of incredible, loving sex. At 63, unpartnered, sex has moved to the back of my mind. I have not tested the waters for a while, but have lots of aging married women as patients and friends who share their bedroom stories with me. The most disturbing to hear is the obligatory painful sex, often performed with their Viagra fueled husbands. The invention of Viagra-type drugs was generally not so good for many older women, while being a big boon for aging male sexuality. For women there has never really been an effective sex organ drug. Our most important sex organ is our brain. Therein lies the key to good sex as we age. Each of us has our unique sexual thoughts that can trigger ecstasy. Memories are often the food for such thoughts. Fortunately, I still have a great memory bank. Talk to your partner.
One of my friends reminded me that the skin is also a primary sex organ. Everyone can benefit from touch therapy. Even if intercourse is not an option or choice, there are so many ways to experience pleasurable touch. Intimacy can be shared in a myriad of ways. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as …a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.