[New York, NY] Today Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2012, a bill that would increase federal supports to millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people through the Older Americans Act (OAA), the country’s largest vehicle for funding and delivering services to older people in the US. The OAA is currently up for reauthorization and includes no mention of LGBT older adults.
“As ‘baby boomers’ continue to age, it is critical that we understand the unique needs of this diverse generation,” Bennet said. “For our LGBT seniors, questions about health care and financial issues can be especially difficult if they cannot find a trustworthy advocate to help guide them through these difficult life decisions. This bill will provide aging services organizations with more tools to assist older LGBT adults and their caregivers. Most of all, the bill will provide LGBT seniors and their families the peace of mind that their best interests are being considered at this stage in their lives.”
Among the bill’s proposals for the OAA is an amendment that would specify LGBT older adults as a population in “greatest social need,” as well as an amendment that would permanently establish the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, which provides LGBT cultural competence training to aging providers around the country.