Giving Voice to LGBTQ Older Adults conference

All too often LGBTQ older adults are dying prematurely and alone because they are too afraid to ask for help because of fear of discrimination of paid caregivers or bullying by other senior residents. Many times LGBTQ seniors do not have family or friends to care for them, or to advocate for them, at home or in a care facility.

Inspired by the 2011 documentary film Gen Silent, by film maker Stu Maddox, a group of lay and clergy faith leaders, with the support of United Church Homes Center for Abundant Aging and local LGBTQ support and advocate groups, formed a ministry to help assist faith communities to realize the issues facing their LGBTQ members.

This April 14 conference will lead off with the viewing of the film Gen Silent. Here our viewers will witness stories from gay and transgender patients sharing their lives as they are followed by film maker Stu Maddux during this year long documentary. A panel of local participants will share their stories following the film. The day is filled with discussions and workshops with lunch provided. Many health care organizations and LGBTQ support groups will share resources and information, with our attendees at information tables and during discussions.

Our intension for this conference is to lead an ecumenical group of participants in an understanding of how they too can assist LGBTQ older adults through advocacy, assisted care and home care. It is our hope that this conference will help church communities to initiate or expand their older adult ministries to assist our ever-growing LGBTQ memberships.