The Beginning of the LGBTEI
In 2010, members of the LGBT community joined with local government officials and representatives from the aging services network to begin a dialogue concerning the unique needs of LGBT people as they age. Significant concern existed within the community that the aging services network would be unprepared to effectively meet the needs of LGBT elders. Additionally, demographic trends suggested that the number of LGBT people over the age of 65 would double between 2010 and 2030.
Given these concerns and trends, a committee of consumers, aging services providers, LGBT-focused organizations, and representatives of local government agencies was formed to create an LGBT elder community needs assessment and to plan the Delaware Valley’s first-ever summit on LGBT aging.
The LGBT Elder Initiative formed as an outcome of this community needs assessment and LGBT Elder Summit. Since forming in 2010, we have developed numerous programs, information-sharing tools, and advocacy initiatives to help to build bridges between LGBT older adults and the aging services network. These efforts have educated LGBT older adults about critical issues related to aging, improved the LGBT cultural competence of providers, introduced the broader community to the challenges facing LGBT elders, and advocated for policy changes to improve the lives of vulnerable LGBT older adults.