Aging members of the LGBTQ+ community face a number of challenges every day.
Challenges include accessing support services, health care, personal care – such as assisted bathing – and receiving different types of services without ridicule or judgment.
The Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre in Red Deer is looking to discuss these points and more at its LGBTQ+ Aging Community Conversation Aug. 15 at 1:30 p.m. during Pride Week.
Older members of the LGBTQ+ community have dealt with a lot of persecution over the years and it’s important for it to be stopped, said Golden Circle executive director Monica Morrison.
“There’s a lot of history in terms of persecution. For example homosexuality was against the law at one point when they were young,” Morrison said.
Normally Golden Circle hosts a drag show during Pride Week. With that not happening this year, organizers decided to try to get a conversation going instead.
“We all age, including the gay community, so we want to make sure policies and procedures and practices are inclusive and not discriminatory,” she said.
Edmonton’s Michael Phair is one of the panelists.
“He’s done a lot of good work with the LGBTQ+ community addressing the issue of aging and the needs of the aging community,” she said.
Morrison hopes to see service providers, such as Alberta Health Services, represented at the conversation as well, she said.
“Places have to look at their policies and procedures to make sure they are inclusive, to ensure the care is good quality care so somebody doesn’t have to go back into the closet to get services because that’s happened,” she said.
Phair will be joined by Red Deer’s Serge Gingras and Alyx Thomas who will discuss the importance and challenges of accessing the services for LGBTQ+ seniors.
“I encourage people to come and be participatory in the conversation so we can build a strong community for the LGBTQ+ Aging,” she said.
The Golden Circle is located at 4620 47A Ave. For more information, call 403-343-6074.