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Administration on Aging (AoA)


While we celebrate our nation’s rich diversity, we recognize that minority Americans are often at greater risk of poor health, social isolation, and poverty. Between 1999 and 2030, the older minority population, aged 65+, is projected to increase by 217 percent, compared with 81 percent for older white population. In addition, we know that the number of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals continue to increase and that many face discrimination based on their age and sexual orientation. The information provided here is intended to help increase access to, and improve programs for our diverse older American population.


Cultural Competency

Cultural competency is critical to reducing health disparities and improving access to health care that is respectful of, and responsive to, people’s diverse needs. Culture involves a number of things, including personal identification, language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions that are often specific to ethnic, racial, religious, geographic, or social groups. For the provider of health information or health care, these elements influence beliefs and belief systems surrounding health, healing, wellness, illness, disease, and delivery of health services.

Please select from the resources below to learn more:

US Administration on Aging's A Toolkit for Servng Diverse Communities
This Toolkit provides the Aging Network and its partners with replicable and easy-to-use methods for providing respectful, inclusive, and sensitive services for any diverse community.

For quick access to various sections, the table of contents is hyperlinked.

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH)
The mission of OMH is to improve and protect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will eliminate health disparities.

Cultural Competence Resources for Health Care Providers
Resource page for health care providers provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration

National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC)
The mission of NCCC is to increase the capacity of health and mental health programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems.

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Translated Materials

Through the Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grants to States (ADDGS) program, funded by AoA, many documents have been translated into other languages, including Arabic, Assyrian, Bosnian, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. To access all available translated materials, click here.

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Experts estimate that between 1.75 and 4 million Americans ages 60 and over are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Existing research suggests that older LGBT adults are satisfied with their lives but many face discrimination based on their sexual orientation as well as their age. 

Recognizing the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT adults, the Administration on Aging has provided funding to create the country’s first national technical assistance resource center focused on the health and social disparities faced by LGBT elders. The center will:

  • Educate mainstream aging services organizations about the existence and special needs of LGBT elders
  • Sensitize LGBT organizations to the existence and special needs of older adults
  • Educate LGBT individuals about the importance of planning ahead for future long-term care needs.

In March 2010 Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) was funded to create the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. A Resource Center website was launched in October of 2011 and can be accessed at

SAGE is a non-profit agency that has been addressing the needs of LGBT elders for over 30 years. SAGE works with LGBT elders to address and overcome the challenges of discrimination in senior service settings, while also being an essential component in the creation of informal caregiving support, and development of new "family" networks. A network of SAGE affiliates have been created across the country to serve LGBT elders at the local level.

A number of additional resources are provided here and are intended to help increase awareness and access to programs for older LGBT adults.

Please select from the resources below to learn more:

HHS LGBT Health Resources
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and it's agencies have created a number of products designed to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.  DOCS/2012_HHS_LGBT_Resource_Links.pdf

The Aging and Health Report: Disparities and Resilience among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults
Aging and health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender(LGBT) baby boomers have been largely ignored by services, policies and research. These seniors face higher rates of disability, physical and mental distress and a lack of access to services. This report is designed to help us better understand the aging and health needs of LGBT adults 50 years of age and older.

LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN)
LAIN, a constituent group of the American Society on Aging, works to raise awareness about the concerns of LGBT elders and about the unique barriers they encounter in gaining access to housing, healthcare, long-term care and other needed services. LAIN has an excellent Website with a great deal of information including a The LGBT Aging Resources Clearinghouse.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a national organization dedicated to building the grassroots power of the LGBT community. The Task Force has identified aging as a critical issue for the LGBT community.

MedlinePlus Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Health Resources
LGBT individuals have special health concerns besides the usual ones that affect most men and women. MedlinePlus has a section on their Website that provides information about these specific health issues.

Tools for Protecting Your Health Care Wishes
A guide prepared by Lambda Legal to assist LGBT in protecting their rights in health care settings

Outing Age 2010: Public Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Elders
This report provides an in-depth look at public policy issues and challenges facing millions of lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender people in the United States as they get older.

LGBT Older Adults in Long Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field
This report, funded by the Arcus Foundation, was co-authored by six national organizations reports on the results of a survey conducted to better understand the experiences of LGBT older adults in long-term care settings.

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Last Modified: 7/18/2014