Councilmember Lisa Middleton hosted an LGBTQ & Aging Symposium at the Palm Springs Convention Center
“Disproportionately, LGBTQ seniors go into their senior years living alone,” said Middleton.
The symposium was hosted in partnership with SAGE, an advocacy group offering services to LGBTQ seniors.
“Unfortunately there is still a legacy of so many of our seniors who have been estranged from their biological families for sometimes years many times for decades,” said Middleton.
The free event brought together local, state and national experts to discuss topics that directly impact the older LGBTQ community such as HIV and aging, culturally competent healthcare, and social isolation.
“The whole point here is for all of us as a community to talk with each other,” Michael Adams, CEO, SAGE.
Panelists encouraged questions from the audience and attendees could also talk one on one with experts.
“Well I’m looking to find out what resources are available for us as we age. As a gay man I want to know if there’s anything specific that can be helpful for my partner and I. And I want to learn about what I can do to maybe help friends down the road too,” said Larry Bye, resident, Palm Desert.
Middleton recommends anyone looking for help should check out the LGBT Center of the Desert on Palm Canyon, the Joclyn Center in Palm Desert or the Mizell Senior Center.
"You need a social network a friendship network, a chosen family network to help you in those years when one is most vulnerable. No one needs to be alone,” said Middleton.