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Celebrating Pride Month in the Aging Network

June is Pride Month, a time n4a uses to recognize and honor innovative programs that n4a members have developed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ older adults in their communities. Take a look at how these AAAs are serving the needs of LGBTQ older adults.

AAAs are astute attendants to the needs of their communities—and the services they provide to a diverse aging population reflect their knowledge of community needs. The following examples highlight how AAAs have developed programming to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ older adults in their communities.
 
ElderSource, a AAA in Northeast Florida, is a 2019 n4a Aging Achievement Award winner in the diversity and cultural competency category. The agency created an LGBTQ Elder Friendly Business Certification program recognizes businesses that have undergone LGBTQ Elder Cultural Competency Training, have inclusive HR and client service policies, and use LGBTQ imagery featuring older adults. ElderSource developed a database of businesses that have shown a commitment to serving the LGBTQ older adult population and recommends them to LGBTQ older adults and their caregivers who call the ElderSource Helpline. Targeted industries include home health, assisted living, funeral homes, realtors, private pay case managers and more. Want to learn about their LGBT Elder Friendly Initiative including their LGBT Elder Cultural Competency Training? Visit n4a's Member Marketplace.    
 
The Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) program, administered by the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, is designed to mitigate heightened risk factors faced by many people in the city's LGBTQ aging and disability communities. The program—which uses a combination of care navigation, volunteers and pet care services to support clients and their pets—acts as an entry point for relationships between older adults and Care Navigators. The PAWS program received a 2018 n4a Aging Innovation Award in the healthy aging category.
 
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, another 2018 n4a Aging Achievement Award winner, was recognized in the diversity and cultural competency category for its LGBT Senior Social Connection program, which consists of monthly gatherings that provide LGBTQ older adults with a safe space to share experiences and discuss the challenges of aging as an LGBTQ adult, foster social connection among peers with shared experiences and understanding.
 
These examples are only a few of the ways AAAs are hard at work on behalf of all older adults in their communities during Pride Month and beyond.

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