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LGBT aging presentations set for nat’l conference

by Gerard Koskovich

The 2007 ASA-NCOA Joint Conference is expected to draw nearly 4,000 participants from throughout North America to attend some 1,000 sessions on all aspects of aging.
The Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging (ASA) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) — set for March 7-10 in Chicago — will include an array of sessions addressing the concerns of LGBT people ages 50-plus and of the agencies and professionals serving them. The LGBT sessions at the annual event address an issue of growing concern, according to the organizers.

“The oldest of the baby boomers started turning 60 just last year — and this generational shift is increasingly inspiring healthcare and social services providers, as well as the LGBT community in general, to focus on responding to the unique needs of LGBT elders,” said Richard Gollance, a psychotherapist based in Los Angeles who serves as cochair of ASA’s Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN). “The conference offers an ideal opportunity for learning and networking for both professionals and non-professionals interested in LGBT aging.”

More than 20 sessions at the ASA-NCOA Joint Conference will deal with LGBT midlife and old age, with a focus on such topics as health and mental health; care for bisexual elders; the concerns of transgender older adults; HIV/AIDS; advocacy, law and public policy; working with diverse communities; intergenerational programs and end-of-life issues. In addition, LGAIN will join a local Chicago task force on LGBT aging in presenting a special program on March 7: an LGBT elder forum that will bring together elders and experts from around the U.S. for a full day of information-sharing.

“The object of the forum is to give professionals a chance to learn from the experience of LGBT older adults and for experts to share their findings and perspectives directly with LGBT elders,” said Terri Worman, chair of the LGAIN special program committee. “Exchanges of this sort are highly unusual at professional conferences. The special program reflects LGAIN’s ongoing commitment to finding innovative ways to both enhance the skills of professionals and support LGBT elders in advocating for themselves.”

Based in San Francisco, the American Society on Aging has been a national leader in continuing education for professionals in aging since 1954; the association’s Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network, founded in 1994, is the only professional group of its kind. The National Council on Aging, based in Washington, D.C., has been helping community organizations for over 50 years through advocacy, research, demonstration programs and innovative education and service initiatives.

The 2007 ASA-NCOA Joint Conference is expected to draw nearly 4,000 participants from throughout North America to attend some 1,000 sessions on all aspects of aging.
A complete schedule and online registration are available via the conference website at www.agingconference.org. Details also are available by phone at 800-537-9728, ext. 9675.

For extensive resources on LGBT aging, as well as a full list of Joint Conference sessions and activities dealing with LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues, visit the LGAIN home page at www.asaging.org/lgain.

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