from The Philadelphia Inquirer
April 15. 2014
For LGBT community, dealing with dementia is a challenge
by Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dementia is terrible for everyone, but elderly people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) face extra problems, says Ed Bomba, communications chair for the LGBT Elder Initiative in Philadelphia.
Many have spent much of their lives in the closet and fear discrimination by medical or social service providers or even the people they might live with in nursing homes.
"We don't have children, as a rule. We don't have partners, as a rule, as we age," Bomba said. Many older LGBT people were rejected by their families and have created support systems of friends. But they're often all about the same age.
"We're all aging together, and we all have our own issues as we age, and therefore we become less capable of taking care of each other," Bomba said.
For all those reasons, he thinks it's especially important that LGBT elders know the signs of cognitive decline. "We're trying to educate the community so that we can watch out for each other," he said.
The Elder Initiative recently teamed with the Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter for three classes on recognizing and coping with Alzheimer's disease. The two groups also worked with the Penn Memory Center and the Mazzoni Center last year to produce a symposium on brain aging. New programs are in the works.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/mental-health/20140415_For_LGBT_community__dealing_with_dementia_is_a_challenge.html#SQ5UHUWI7vgeoYKI.99