Showing posts with label Gay Aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Aging. Show all posts

February 9, 2017

New Data on Aging Experiences of LGBT Americans

A new supplemental issue of the journal The Gerontologist presents the findings of the largest national survey to date focused on the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults.
The issue, titled "Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging, and Sexuality/Gender Study (NHAS)," provides cutting edge research, drawing upon the 2014 wave of data from the first national, longitudinal study of more than 2,400 diverse LGBT adults aged 50 to 100. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.
Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD, a professor in the University of Washington School of Social Work, served as editor for this journal issue, which contains 10 articles.
"These articles provide the opportunity to consider how social, historical, and environmental contexts influence the health and well-being of LGBT older adults as we move forward in aging-related research, services, and policies -- especially if we are to understand the realities of older adulthood across diverse and vulnerable communities." said Fredriksen-Goldsen. "The insights gleaned from this study of aging among LGBT older adults can deepen our understanding of the richness, diversity, and resilience of lives across the life course."
Findings in the journal reveal that 2.4 percent of older adults in the U.S. currently self-identify as LGBT, accounting for 2.7 million adults aged 50 and older, including 1.1 million aged 65 and older.
Collectively, the articles cut across three major themes: risk and protective factors and life course events associated with health and quality of life among LGBT older adults; heterogeneity and subgroup differences in LGBT health and aging; and processes and mechanisms underlying health and quality of life of LGBT older adults. The authors address the intersection of health and well-being with such topics as race and ethnicity, HIV status, military service, marriage, social networks, and depression.
"LGBT older adults face disparities in health and well-being compared to heterosexual peers, including higher rates of disability, cardiovascular disease, depression and social isolation," Fredriksen-Golden said. "Discrimination, stigma, and lack of healthcare access is associated with these elevated disparities. It is important to understand that these communities are diverse, and unique groups face distinct challenges to their health."
The Gerontologist is a peer-reviewed publication of The Gerontological Society of America(GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

May 10, 2014

Hey Stud! Your Bad Habits and Your Aging is Coming to you with Bad News

In the past, many men have held fast to the belief that guys reach their sexual peak in their teens and then begin a decade-by-decade downward spiral into sexual inadequacy.
It’s true that with age comes the possibility of diminishing libido, decreased penile rigidity and other age-related male dreads. The degree of waning in sexual ability and appetite, though, varies widely among individuals. Lifestyle choices one makes in his early years can have a huge impact later in life.
Teens and 20sAn overweight partier who spends his teens and 20s awash in an alcohol and drug-induced fog can expect a different sexual experience down the road than that of the health-conscious athlete. But even the young, virile Adonis can gradually see his ideal image fade away if he celebrates his 20s transition by clinging to beer bongs all night and toilet bowls the morning after.
30sAfter a decade of seemingly limitless stamina, our sexual dynamo of yesteryear now finds himself stumbling into his 30s. By this time, depending on lifestyle choices, many men have already contracted hidden afflictions. While they may not be present yet, sexually debilitating maladies such as diabetes and heart disease could also be lingering. There are a number of steps that can be taken to start offsetting the sexual impact of bad habits, but prevention is still the key to running one’s sex machine at full throttle. 
40sIf he’s managed to scrape by and now finds himself on the cusp of his 40s, the aging party stud will probably start to see signs of his illicit lifestyle. At times, his hard-ons may seem more like hardly-ons. It’s important to avoid panic at this point, because the pressure will likely only make things worse. 
Even the most fit of men encounter some sexual hurdles at this age. Erections can be a bit rarer, and it may take longer to get hard (and even longer to get hard again). One may also need more hands-on stimulation—older men tend to need more than just the thought of sex to reach an erection. If a guy makes sure his partner is aware of this, things will heat up a lot faster.
50s and beyondSex beyond the big 5-0 can come with even more changes, including a slight reduction in sex drive. Also, because penile connective tissue gets less elastic, there’s a decline in blood flow and erection problems can increase.
This is the real decade of reckoning for the party animal. By now he’s probably battling some midlife malady, popping blue diamonds to enjoy his semi-flaccid sexual encounters. Though he may live to a ripe old age, sex without supplements is probably a thing of the past. 

July 12, 2013

New Study Out on LGTB Seniors Committing Suicide } Eye Opener

Gay senior Hadley Hall, left, and his friend Jerry Brown attended the release of the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force report on LGBT seniors in San Francisco. Hall said that he wasn't surprised at the report's findings that 15 percent of those surveyed had "seriously considered" suicide in the last 12 months.(Photo: Rick Gerharter)

Isolated from family and largely living alone, LGBT seniors in San Francisco contemplate taking their own life at an "alarming" rate, a new study has found.
It is estimated there are anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 LGBT seniors living in San Francisco, with the population increasing each year as the median age of the city's residents grows older.
A survey of 616 LGBT city residents aged 60 to 92 years old, the results of which were released this week, found that 15 percent had "seriously considered" committing suicide within the last 12 months.
While mainstream and LGBT media coverage in recent years has shed a national spotlight on LGBT teen suicides, leading to such efforts as the It Gets Better video project, the study findings show it is an issue many LGBT people grapple with well into adulthood.
"I am surprised it isn't higher," said Hadley Hall, 80, a gay San Francisco resident.
He has had friends commit suicide after they determined to take their own life to end their suffering brought on by failing health.
"It was their decision to do it because they couldn't get the palliative care they needed," said Hall.
Commissioned by the city's LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, the study also found "relatively high rates of disability" in addition to "poor physical and mental health" among the participants. Previous research has shown that both health issues are associated with increased risk of depression, "which in turn can increase the risk of suicide," noted the report.
The survey was the first to ask about suicidal tendencies within the timeframe of the last 12 months rather than over the course of a person's lifetime, said out lesbian lead researcher Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Washington and director of the Institute for Multigenerational Health.
"In some cases we have seen a similar percentage for over a person's lifetime, but to see 15 percent considering suicide within the last 12 months is very concerning," she said.
Were heterosexual seniors to be asked a similar question, Fredriksen-Goldsen predicted that the number saying they had contemplated suicide within the last year "will be significantly less" than the 15 percent the LGBT senior study found.
"We need to figure out what is unique within older LGBT adults and why they are contemplating suicide," she said during a presentation Tuesday, July 9 about the study findings.
The researchers recommend that city officials create a suicide prevention program that is specifically targeted at LGBT older adults. Task force member Ashley McCumber, a gay man who is executive director of Meals on Wheels of San Francisco Inc., told the Bay Area Reporter that he agrees the suicide contemplation statistic "is a marker we need to pay attention to" and that the panel needs "to address LGBT seniors' isolation and mental health."
San Francisco Suicide Prevention is currently developing a "best practices" approach to suicide prevention among LGBT seniors that other cities throughout the Bay Area can emulate. The agency received funding from the state Mental Health Services Act to fund the work and is hosting a special training next week for LGBT people.
Executive Director Eve R. Meyer said the survey finding "tragically, I think, is not surprising because for a lot of LGBT seniors the living arrangements they have enjoyed change and living independently often becomes an option not available to them and they are often forced to live in extended care facilities of one kind or another."
In such a setting many LGBT seniors are pushed back into the closet, fearful of telling staff or other residents about their sexual orientation or gender identity, noted Meyer. That can exacerbate their risk for depression, she added, causing them to consider suicide.
"Our agency is just starting an elderly LGBT outreach with materials and trying to get awareness out in the community among health care practitioners, family members, and younger LGBT community members that this is a problem," said Meyer. "It is the kind of problem that you need to approach as a community."

Study a first of its kind
This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its 2013 report on aging and health in America, said longer life spans and aging baby boomers will combine to double the population of Americans aged 65 years or older during the next 25 years to about 72 million. By 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population.
A 2011 federal study on LGBT seniors estimated that there were 2 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people age 50 and older in the U.S. It estimated that the LGBT senior population would double by 2030.
San Francisco's 15-member LGBT Aging Policy Task Force formed last year, and one of its first actions was to commission the study, titled "Addressing the Needs of LGBT Older Adults in San Francisco: Recommendations for the Future." The 56-page report is meant to help the panel determine the key concerns among LGBT seniors in the city and create a plan for how city officials can address them.
"This first-of-its-kind survey will help San Francisco understand the needs of this rapidly growing segment in our city's population," stated Mayor Ed Lee. "The survey will allow us to consider facts and data as we create policies to help LGBT seniors, and we are looking forward to the recommendations of the LGBT Senior Policy Task Force early next year."
More than two-thirds (71 percent) of the study participants were gay men, of whom 33 percent are living with HIV or AIDS. Lesbians accounted for 22 percent, while bisexuals and transgender people each made up 4 percent.
The majority were non-Hispanic whites (79 percent), with 7 percent Latino or Hispanic; 5 percent African American; 4 percent Asian or Pacific Islander; and 2 percent Native American.
Other significant findings in the report included nearly 60 percent of the participants live alone and close to two-thirds (63 percent) do not have a partner or spouse. Forty percent reported they do not have enough money to cover their basic needs, with 30 percent living on incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Housing a key worry
The study is also lending scientific data to what has been anecdotally known for years: LGBT seniors in the city fear they will be priced out of San Francisco in terms of housing. And those concerns are only growing as the city grapples with a housing shortage that is causing both rents and home prices to skyrocket.
"You don't really know where you can go to feel safe as an LGBT person," said task force member Marcy Adelman, Ph.D., who helped found the LGBT senior services agency Openhouse.
A majority of the survey participants (54 percent) rent their housing, while 5 percent live rent-free with family or friends, in a nursing home or some other health care facility. Close to a third (28 percent) own a home and are still making mortgage payments while just over 13 percent have paid off the mortgage.
The only housing designated for LGBT seniors, the Openhouse project at 55 Laguna Street that will have 110 rental apartments for low-income people, is still years away from opening. Even when it does, it will be nowhere near enough units to meet demand.
"The consequence of having to leave San Francisco is especially significant for this community," said Diana Jensen, MPP, who served on the research team for the study.
Two-thirds of people in the senior survey said they are concerned they will not be able to remain in their current homes and may need to relocate. Nearly one-quarter reported needing housing assistance; while 42 percent of people utilizing such services "feel unsafe" doing so as an LGBT person.
"LGBT respondents who live alone, those with lower incomes, and those with less education are at elevated risk for housing instability," concludes the report.

September 21, 2012

A Gay Man’s Twilight Years Spark Intrigue Not Pity } HD Trailer

  • Dean Napoletano 
Lacking the special effects and marquee names of Hollywood blockbusters, independent filmmakers start their work at a disadvantage. When Jun Robles Lana decided to tell the story, in Tagalog, of a lonely, 75-year-old gay man, he knew he had a particularly tough challenge on his hands.
“Gay stories don’t sell in the Philippines,” he said of his film, “Bwakaw.” “And it’s a movie about growing old.”
Fortissimo Films
Eddie Garcia as Rene, with Princess as Bwakaw.
But “Bwakaw,” which opened across the country this month, is already sparking attention internationally. Last week, it was selected to represent the Philippines as the best foreign-language submission for the Academy Awards. In addition to its domestic theatrical run, it has hit the festival circuit, screening in Toronto last week and heading to New York and Hawaii next month.
The movie stars Eddie Garcia, a popular Filipino actor, as Rene, a curmudgeon with a sensitive side who didn’t come out of the closet until he was 60 and now faces old age alone. Rene occupies his time talking to his dog, Bwakaw (which rhymes with “Macau” and translates to “voracious” or “greedy”), hanging out with a gay couple who run a hair salon and visiting an elderly nursing-home resident (Armida Siguion-Reyna) who is eventually revealed to be a former sweetheart. (“Forgive me,” he tells her in one poignant scene, “for making you love me back then. I made you hope and believe that I loved you.”)
To attract moviegoers in the Philippines, “Bwakaw” is being marketed as a comedy, with ads and trailers highlighting its lighter moments, including an upbeat poster that shows Bwakaw perched on Rene’s shoulder. Producers thought it would be an “easier sell,” Mr. Robles Lana said, noting that locally made comedies and horror movies dominate the country’s box office.
Mr. Robles Lana, who turns 40 next month, wanted to address “everyone’s fear about growing old and missed chances,” he said. It’s an atypical venture into art-house cinema for the director, who directs commercially minded movies such as the 2009 horror flick “Tarot.” He wanted to capture the sadness and silence of aging, “but at same time I didn’t want the film to be bleak. I used humor to break the silences,” he said.
Hopefully, “audiences will discover it is more than a comedy,” he said.
Mr. Robles Lana drew inspiration from his real-life teacher and mentor Rene Villanueva, a playwright who died in 2007 and who also came out of the closet late in life. “He was a colorful character, harsh and generous at the same time,” he said. “My greatest fear was forgetting him, and I wanted to do a project to honor him.”

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