On Tuesday, May 17, the Alzheimer’s Association will host a free, Ohio-based virtual LGBTQ+ Dementia Forum about the obstacles, health disparities and inequities LGBTQ+ elders and their care partners face when navigating a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 7.4% of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual older adult population is living with dementia. LGBTQ+ people have greater health disparities, many of which are risk factors for dementia, such as lower rates of preventative screenings, cardiovascular disease and depression. In addition, 40% of LGBTQ+ older adults say their health care providers don’t know their sexual orientation.
Those LGBTQ+ older adults living with dementia face challenges in accessing health care and support. 40% report shrinking support networks; 34% live alone; and up to 30% experience lower rates of access to care.
“Unfortunately, dementia care is often either unavailable to LGBTQ+ folks, or, the care they can access is not welcoming, affirming, or inclusive,” said Ramona Peel, lead trainer for The Equitas Health Institute in Columbus.
The forum is being presented with seven Ohio and locally-based organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community, including SAGE Cleveland; Equality Ohio; Equitas Health Institute; Plexus; Cincinnati Pride; Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton; and United Church Homes.
Rebecca Hall, Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, said. “The Alzheimer’s Association proudly works alongside SAGE, an organization that has worked tirelessly on behalf of LGBTQ+ older adults for over 40 years and one of our forum partners. It is our hope that the LGBTQ+ community and its allies will attend the forum so that we may better understand their needs and ensure that all Ohio LGBTQ+ individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their care partners have equitable access to diagnosis, treatment, services and care.”
Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan, speak, walk. In Ohio 220,000 individuals, over the age of 65, are living with the disease.
The LGBTQ+ dementia forum will be moderated by Amanda Cole (she/her), executive director of Plexus LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce. 🔥
- The FREE forum will be held on Tuesday, May 17 from 6-7:30 p.m. To register, go to: http://alz.org/lgbtforum or call 800.272.3900.
- Individuals needing immediate assistance can call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
- To learn more about Alzheimer’s and the LGBTQ+ community visit https://bit.ly/LGBTQResourcesALZ.