SAGE: Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
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For Immediate Release

April 4, 2013

AARP Foundation Awards Grant to SAGE for Innovative Storytelling Program

SAGE Story will address the increased risk of social isolation among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults.

[New York, NY] Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) today announced that the AARP Foundation has awarded the SAGE Story program a $50,000 grant to reduce social isolation among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults and ensure that their voices are part of the policy debates on aging in the United States. SAGE Story is a new national initiative that aims to strengthen the storytelling skills—and draw on the unique life experiences of—LGBT elders to diversify the public conversation on aging, long-term care and LGBT rights.

“We are grateful for the support of the AARP Foundation for SAGE Story,” said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “The stories of LGBT older people reflect the human experiences behind complex lifetimes marked by severe inequities, illustrating the urgent need to ensure that the policies intended to support our nation’s elders also take into account the needs of LGBT elders. Moreover, at SAGE we’ve seen firsthand that for LGBT elders, sharing their experiences—and finding others who understand them—promotes a powerful sense of connection, community and resiliency.”

AARP Foundation helps struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today.  The Foundation works with local groups, government and national organizations, and corporations to create and support solutions that help older people meet life's essentials: food, housing, income and personal connection.

As adults near retirement age, they may become isolated over time from their broader communities (places of worship, work settings, etc.), as well as from friends and family. The consequences of this isolation can include smaller and lower quality support networks, debilitating feelings of loneliness and depression, and the deterioration of physical and mental health.

LGBT elders, who are more likely to live alone and with thinner support networks, are especially vulnerable to social isolation. Geographical barriers, coupled with stigma and discrimination, can make it difficult for LGBT older people in many parts of the country to find the LGBT-friendly community supports they need to age successfully and avoid social isolation.

Emerging research has found that arts-based programs like SAGE Story can reduce isolation and promote positive health and well-being in old age for older adults. Storytelling programs, in particular, can improve self-esteem and life satisfaction, and create community, especially among populations that are more marginalized.

SAGE Story offers skill-building workshops in New York City, maintains an online story booth for digital submissions, and partners with storytelling experts and policy-based organizations to bring these stories into public conversation. Read, watch or listen to the stories of LGBT older adults at

SAGE is the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people. SAGE also offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older adults and their caregivers, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competence training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE coordinates a growing network of affiliates across the country. Learn more at

About AARP Foundation AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at

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