Chase Brexton to help aging LGBT in Baltimore
A health care provider in Baltimore has created an initiative that will help care for older LGBT individuals who live alone while providing resources, education, and support for informal, unpaid LGBT caregivers in the community.
Chase Brexton Health Care recently launched SAGECAP Baltimore in partnership with SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders). Through their LGBT Health Resource Center, Chase Brexton will provide caregivers the following:
1. Support groups
2. One-on-one counseling
3. Referrals to financial, legal, and medical assistance
4. Information and training in a safe and welcome environment
These services will be made available to informal, unpaid LGBT caregivers or those who care for older LGBT individuals.
Needs of aging LGBT individuals
“In Baltimore, our elders face many challenges including transportation, food access, medication management, ability to afford required home repairs, and home modification services,” said Arnold Eppel, Baltimore City’s Director of the Division of Aging & CARE Services.
“It is wonderful to know that those older adults who may face an additional discrimination or have worries about accessing care and services, have a new way to connect to the services they so vitally need,” Eppel said.
According to SAGE, approximately 80 percent of long-term care in the United States is provided by family members. However, LGBT older adults are often estranged from their families and lack this crucial support network.
Further, older LGBT adults are twice as likely to live alone, three times more likely to be childless and more likely to care for a loved one.
“The reality is that many more LGBT older adults are cut off from family and depend heavily on support from friends and other caregivers,” said Nate Sweeney, executive director of Chase Brexton’s LGBT Health Resource Center.
“Through SAGECAP we can connect LGBT caregivers and elders to culturally competent and welcoming service providers. We’re encouraged by the tremendous response from Baltimore area providers who want to help improve critical services for the often isolated and marginalized LGBT population,” Sweeney added.
Caring for aging LGBT individuals
As part of SAGECAP Baltimore, Chase Brexton vets services providers before partnering with or recommending them, ensuring they can help LGBT individuals comfortably access services.
Chase Brexton staff are also offering LGBT cultural sensitivity training to community organizations that provide services to older adults.
SAGECAP Baltimore builds upon an innovative program originally launched in New York City in 2009 and is supported by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Locally, the initiative is part of Weinberg’s “Making Maryland the Best Place to Grow Old” initiative.
SAGECAP Baltimore also builds on Chase Brexton’s strong history. Since its founding in 1978 as a volunteer-run, gay health clinic, Chase Brexton has supported the LGBT community even as it has grown and expanded into a major primary health care provider.