Thursday, July 23, 2015

Department of Health and Human Services launches

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a new government website dedicated to helping older adults connect to resources related to aging. The website,, will serve as a central hub for all federal government resources related to aging, providing support to older adults in navigating the federal, state and local supports that are available. The launch of the website coincided with the 2015 White House Conference on Aging earlier this July.

By visiting, users can access information and resources related to healthy living, elder justice, long-term care, retirement planning, and financial security. The site also assists users with applying for social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. To access the information and resources available through the site, visit

Monday, July 20, 2015

Health Care Workers Harbor Biases About Sexual Orientation: Study

Reprinted from HealthDay News
THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your doctor, nurse or other health care worker may be biased when it comes to the sexual orientation of patients, a new study suggests.
Researchers surveyed more than 200,000 health care providers in the United States about their attitudes towards heterosexual, gay and lesbian people between 2006 and 2012.
The results: Heterosexual health care providers tend to have moderate to strong preferences for straight people over lesbian and gay people.
Conversely, gay and lesbian health care providers favored gay and lesbian people over straight people, the survey showed.
The take-home message, according to lead researcher Janice Sabin, is that "training for health care providers about treating sexual minority patients is an area in great need of attention."
"We want all providers to be proficient in treating diverse populations, including the LGBT population," said Sabin, who is a research associate professor in biomedical informatics and medical education at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Among the different types of health care workers surveyed, mental health professionals seemed to have the least bias for straight people over lesbian and gay people. On the other hand, nurses had the strongest bias for straight people over lesbian and gay people, the researchers said.
Sabin's group believes the findings are reflective of American society as a whole: Health care providers are similar to all Americans in that they tend to favor those who share their sexual orientation.
According to the investigators, future research should focus on the effect any of these biases might have on the care of LGBT patients.
The study was published July 16 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Movement Advancement Project releases new infographic on transgender policies

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) has launched a new infographic, "Snapshot: Transgender in America," which gives a quick look at state-level laws and policies that impact the lives of transgender people and provides some key statistics on the challenges transgender people face:
  • Over half of states (32) either have predominantly hostile laws targeting transgender people (23 states) or low levels of legal equality for transgender people (9 states).
  • Most states (28) lack state laws protecting transgender people from employment discrimination, although 78% of transgender employees report harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job.
  • Most states (29) lack laws protecting transgender students from bullying, though 75% of transgender students report feeling unsafe at school.
  • Only 59% of transgender people have been able to update the gender marker on their driver's license-and only 14 states and the District of Columbia makes it easy for transgender people to do so.

To view the complete infographic, please visit

“Gettin’ On” in PGN: Knowing the signs of a stroke

July 16, 2015

By Joseph Quinn

The word “stroke” can have many meanings: the fond caress of a loved one or pet; vigorous activity, as in golf, rowing or swimming; or a philosophy of life, as in “different strokes for different folks.” But there’s a definition many of us would rather not think about. This type of stroke, or “brain attack,” occurs when the normal flow of blood to the brain is interrupted, depriving brain cells of oxygen and other nutrients.

Stroke is our country’s number-five cause of death, killing about 129,000 people a year. Those between 55-85 are most at risk. The most common form of stroke occurs when a blood clot, usually originating in the heart, makes its way to the brain and blocks an artery. Another cause is a burst artery, or hemorrhage, that causes blood to pool among brain cells or between the brain and skull.

There are certain effects on the brain and body that signal the onset of a stroke, and you should never ignore them. These include numbness, usually of an arm or leg on one side of the body; weakness or loss of vision; trouble speaking and loss of balance or coordination. There are a few classic signs of a stroke that are part of an easy-to-remember acronym: F.A.S.T.

F — Face: Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A — Arms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S — Speech: Repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
T —Time: Time lost is brain lost.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Celebrate Disability Pride on July 25

Click here for details

The Americans with Disabilities Act at 25: the impact on LGBTQ older adults

from Philadelphia Gay News’ 2015 Special Section on LGBTQ Older Adults
July 3, 2015

Twenty-five years ago, Congress passed and President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA was designed to end discrimination against people with disabilities. The law has been challenged by opponents, and interpreted by the courts and revised by Congress to clarify its intent and expand its coverage. Today it stands as one of the highest forms of civil rights legislation ever passed for people with disabilities in the U.S.   

To help understand the impact of the ADA on the ability of LGBT older adults and people with disabilities to live independently as we age, the LGBT Elder Initiative spoke with one of Philadelphia’s outstanding disability rights leaders, Thomas Earle, the Chairperson of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, and CEO of Liberty Resources, Inc. (LRI), Philadelphia’s federally-designated Center for Independent Living. 

Read the interview at:

HIV/AIDS and the Americans with Disabilities Act: easing the burden of discrimination

from Philadelphia Gay News’ 2015 Special Section on LGBTQ Older Adults
July 3, 2015

Twenty-five years old, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) supports people with disabilities by establishing their legal right to fully participate in society. Among the groups that have benefited from the strong protections of the ADA are people living with HIV and AIDS.  More than half of the people in the U.S. who are HIV+ are over 50 years of age. They often face discrimination based on their age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or their HIV status.

The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania has provided free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS for 27 years and has represented thousands of clients fighting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. Ronda Goldfein has served as its executive director since 2000. Goldfein shared her thoughts with the Elder Initiative about the impact of the ADA on the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Read the interview here: