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NYSOFA Celebrates LGBT Pride Month

Albany, NY - The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continued its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older New Yorkers by recognizing June as LGBT Pride month. NYSOFA expanded its data collection efforts in 2013 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, in order to address health disparities within the senior service system.

Recognizing the importance of Pride month, Greg Olsen, NYSOFA Acting Director noted, "We know that LGBT older adults are more likely to live alone and lack other supports that we know keep people healthy. NYSOFA is committed to supporting all older adults with diverse programs and services, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our outreach and education efforts."

LGBT older adults make up a significant share of America's 65+ population, and their numbers are expected to double in size over the next several decades, reaching more than 3 million by 2030, according the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. Research also shows that LGBT older adults are less likely to access mainstream social service provides, for fear of discrimination and denial of services.

"We applaud NYSOFA for its recent revisions to help the aging network throughout New York better understand the needs of LGBT older adults. During this important Pride month, we are proud to be working with NYSOFA to implement these important revisions that will help ensure open and honest communication between patients and providers throughout the state," said Robert Espinoza, Senior Director for Public Policy, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders).

Keith Hornbrook, the Executive Director of the Cohoes Senior Service Center in the Capital Region, noted "The New York State Office for the Aging's collection and inclusion of data about older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults in creating statewide policy and practice shows their commitment to developing comprehensive services for all the seniors of New York State. We look forward to seeing the impact of the Office's progressive leadership."

NYSOFA's mission is to help older adults be as independent as possible and remain in their homes or communities through the development and delivery of person-centered cost-effective long term services and supports as well as programs and services that support and empower older adults and their families. These programs and services are provided through the network of Area Agencies on Aging; locally based public, not-for-profit and private providers and organizations and other community, county and state level partners.

For information on NYSOFA's programs and services, visit www.aging.ny.gov or call our statewide senior citizens' help line at 1-800-342-9871.