The Aging Mind 101,” part of the LGBTEI Conversations series of informational programs, was presented on Saturday, April 20, 2013. The program covered the medical and scientific, psychosocial, and caregiving issues associated with memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.

Raising awareness

The purpose of the workshop was to begin a conversation within the LGBT older adult communities about the cognitive issues that we face as we age.  The program was designed to highlight resources available in the community for patients, caregivers and providers.

Support for LGBT elders with Alzheimer’s

This program was especially important because of some of the unique circumstances facing LGBT older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues.  It is estimated that up to:

  • 75% live alone vs. 33% of elders in the general population;
  • 90% do not have children vs. 20%; and
  • 80% have no partner vs. 40%.

Many LGBT older adults with Alzheimer’s do not have the social, emotional, financial, and medical support structures that older adults in the general population enjoy.  Reliance on LGBT “families of choice” as we age becomes problematic.  Friends who are caring for friends are, for the most part, single generational.  Members of these “logical” families are often experiencing the same infirmities at the same time.  As a result, they do not have the ability to adequately care, or advocate, for each other.

Collaborators & Sponsors

This program was part of a collaborative effort of the LGBTEI; Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter; Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE); Circle of Friends; Mazzoni Center; Penn Memory Center; Social Solutions; William Way Community Center; and the Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties area agencies on aging. Links to each?

“The Aging Mind 101” was made possible by the generous support of Philadelphia Gay News, PNC Bank, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, and Mazzoni Center.

Watch the full program in our video library! Part 1 (Medical Issues), Part 2 (Psychological Issues), Part 3 (Caregiving)

Videography and technical support courtesy of Peter Lien.

RESOURCES

Articles

from Philadelphia Gay News
Aging minds by Joel Sartorius
http://www.epgn.com/columns/gettin-on/5702-21972996-aging-minds

via PCA’s Milestones e-news
After the caregiving ends
http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/after-the-caregiving-ends/

A senior moment or something more
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-senior-moment-or-something-more-2013-03-06

Planning for Alzheimer’s (Kiplinger)
http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C000-S002-planning-for-alzheimers.html

Agencies & Organizations

All of the resources below are free for older adults and their loved ones.
All provide free language assistance for non-English speakers and people with disabilities.

Alzheimer’s Association

1(800) 272-3900
TDD 1(866) 403-3073
Hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Serves people dealing with memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, as well as caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the public. Provides information about aging and brain health, medications and treatment options, and legal, financial, and living-arrangement decisions.

APPRISE

1(800) 783-7067
TDD 1(866) 403-3073
Hotline Hours:  9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The APPRISE Program helps you navigate through Medicare health insurance (including questions about mental health coverage), prescription coverage, and long-term care insurance options. APPRISE is a free, trusted resource available statewide to individuals over age 60 and those under age 60 on Medicare. APPRISE counselors are volunteers specially trained by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, working in various agencies around the state. You can meet one-on-one with an APPRISE counselor if you’d prefer help in-person. This statewide hotline will refer you to a local office.

CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly) LINE

(215) 545-5728
1(800) 356-3606
Hotline Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Also available online: http://www.carie.org/contact/get-help/

The CARIE LINE is a confidential telephone line that provides advocacy and one-on-one options counseling service. CARIE LINE Advocates provide education about services, make referrals to community resources, assist in problem solving, and help in accessing complicated programs. CARIE is an APPRISE office for Philadelphia residents and can help you with Medicare and Medicaid questions.

CARIE website just for caretakers: http://www.caregivergps.org

Mazzoni Center

www.mazzonicenter.org
Medical Practice: 809 Locust Street, Philadelphia / (215) 563-0658
Main Office: 21 South 12th Street, Philadelphia / (215) 563-0652

Counseling Services: Intake Specialist Sean McNamara (215) 563-0663 ext. 248.  Mazzoni Center provides compassionate, comprehensive primary health care services focusing on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Professional mental health and/or substance abuse counseling is available. Sliding-scale (low cost) care is an option if you don’t have insurance. The center also offers peer counseling, legal services, STD testing, and support groups.

Area Agencies on Aging

Looking for information on what programs and services are available in your community? Start by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging. Each county has its own Agency offering services and programs, including counseling, companion services, social activities, and respite care for caregivers.

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (known as “PCA”)

(215) 765-9000
TDD (215) 765-9041
1(888) 482-9060 (toll-free outside Philadelphia)
www.pcacares.org

Bucks County Area Agency on Aging

(267) 880-5700
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
www.buckscounty.org/government/departments/HumanServices/Aging

Chester Department of Aging Services

(610) 344-6350
1(800) 692-1100 (toll-free)
http://www.chesco.org/aging

Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (known as “COSA”)

(610) 490-1300
1(800) 416-4504 (toll-free)
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
www.delcosa.org

Montgomery County Aging & Adult Services

(610) 278-3601
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday
www.montcopa.org/mcaas