To the Editor:
Re “Who Will Care for the Kinless Seniors?,” by Paula Span (The New Old Age, Dec. 6):
Aging “kinless” may be new to older Americans who are straight. But there’s nothing novel about it for L.G.B.T.Q.+ older people, who historically have been prevented from marrying and discouraged from having children.
Straight elders without family can learn from their L.G.B.T.Q.+ counterparts, who have turned to support organizations like SAGE and have pitched in to help one another. In fact, L.G.B.T.Q.+ people are far more likely to provide care to an elder who isn’t a family member.
From Social Security to workplace leave, we must join forces to change policies that make aging supports dependent on marital and family status. We should all be able to grow old with dignity, even if we don’t have kin.
The writer is the C.E.O. of SAGE.