New SAGE program seeks to assist LGBTQ+ elders who are at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
[New York, NY] Today, SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBTQ+ elders with volunteer community members and allies in the midst of the national pandemic. For many of our LGBTQ+ pioneers, the heightened need for social isolation has left them homebound with severely limited support networks. The one-to-one contact offered through SAGEConnect will help combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection during this unprecedented time of COVID-19, and ensure that elders are linked to resources if they are in need of help.
Because of the limited resources available to LGBTQ+ elders during this time, SAGE is utilizing its connection to the greater community to offer help and support where it is needed most. Matching volunteers with members of the SAGE community will not only provide companionship during a time of isolation, but the program will also serve as an opportunity for folks to tap into the numerous resources SAGE is continuing to offer LGBTQ+ elders. SAGE’s network of eager volunteers is especially pivotal for those dealing with obstacles due to COVID-19, whether those challenges manifest physically, emotionally, or mentally. Through SAGEConnect, volunteers not only offer a social connection, but can also direct LGBTQ+ elders to other resources, like SAGE’s National LGBTQ+ Elder Hotline, its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging or local SAGE affiliates.
“LGBTQ+ older Americans are quite literally at the epicenter of this pandemic, which is why it is so important for us to offer a program like SAGEConnect that gives them an opportunity to stay engaged with the broader community and get the resources they need,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Our LGBTQ+ community has stepped up to care for and support one another in times of crisis before. And we must do that once again – our community and allies need to once again exhibit the fierce leadership that our LGBTQ+ pioneers have showed us for years.”
SAGE’s commitment to LGBTQ+ elders continues to have profound impact on members of the community. As Julia, SAGE member stated, “you’re letting people know that they’re not invisible. That someone does care about you in the middle of this crazy crisis really makes me feel a heck of a lot better.” For Julia, and many others, SAGE is counting on SAGEConnect as a tool to strengthen community bonds and remind folks that LGBTQ+ elders refuse to be invisible, even during times of crisis. Those interested in participating can sign up on SAGE’s website at sageusa.org/sageconnect. The site was built with the invaluable support of volunteers from Out in Tech’s Digital Corps impact program.
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at sageusa.org.