Needs of LGBTQ elders focus of new survey

A new effort is underway to learn more about the health and social needs of older members of the LGBTQ community living in the city.

SAGE, formerly known as Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s Center for Home Care Policy & Research have partnered on the initiative, which includes a first-of-its-kind survey of the community.

The online survey is funded in part by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. It builds on the AdvantAge Initiative developed by VNSNY Research to capture older adults’ experience in their communities, identify barriers to aging in place and plan ways to address those barriers.

Extending capabilities to the LGBTQ community during the Covid-19 pandemic is critical because of the population’s heightened risks due to disparities, comorbidities and lack of access to care, SAGE and VNSNY said.

“So often what we’re struggling with at SAGE is a lack of inclusion of LGBT older people in this kind of survey research,” said Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE.

The survey will help inform future SAGE services and programming as well as policymakers and potential funders, Adams said.

Mia Oberlink, senior research associate at the VNSNY Center for Home Care Policy & Research, also noted the importance of the survey for helping elders age in place and future decision-making.

“This is an important constituency for us,” Oberlink said.

This article originally appeared in Crain’s New York Business on April 27, 2020.