Rise Above Coffee is proud to be the LGBTQ+ Coffee that gives back, and each month we feature a non-profit doing exceptional work in the LGBTQ+ community. This May, we’re shining a spotlight on Sage.

Caring For Our LGBTQ+ Elders

Sage is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of aging LGBTQ+ people. Specifically, they are a nonprofit dedicated to advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ elders.

The need for LGBTQ+ elder care is significant and often overlooked. By 2030, there will be an estimated seven million LGBTQ+ adults over the age of 65. As this special population continues to grow, so will the group’s most pressing needs.

Right now, more than 50% of people living with HIV/AIDS are 50 years or older. At least 48% of older same-sex couples have experienced housing discrimination. And in 28 states, LGBTQ+ people of all ages still lack legal protections against discrimination in housing, healthcare, and employment.

Sage addresses the specific needs of aging LGBTQ+ adults through relevant advocacy, resources, training, and support.

Advocacy

According to Sage, “We enjoy the rights and protections we have today because our community pioneers refused to be invisible by raising their voices, taking to the streets, and demanding equality.”

Today, Sage advocates for LGBTQ+ elders at federal, state, and local levels in a variety of ways. Largely by:

  • Mobilizing community members and allies when LGBTQ+ rights are at stake
  • Educating policymakers on LGBTQ+ issues
  • Authoring original policy briefs, publications, and infographics
  • Marching/rallying with older LGBTQ+ people and allies

The HIV and Aging Policy Action Coalition (HAPAC)

Sage advocates for long-term HIV survivors through the HIV and Aging Policy Action Coalition; a grant-funded initiative focused on raising awareness and meeting the needs of long-term survivors and older LGBTQ+ people living with HIV.

HAPAC was launched to provide a sustained effort to educate policymakers on the intersection between aging and HIV/AIDS, and the outsized impact the disease has on marginalized communities – especially LGBTQ+ people of color. These efforts are especially important since many survivors never dreamed they would live this long, and HIV and LGBTQ+ providers have not effectively planned for the aging of this disease.

The Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI)

The LEI is an assessment tool to help residential long-term care facilities provide culturally competent care to older LGBTQ+ adults. It is a collaboration between Sage and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to promote equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ residents of these communities.

The National Resource Center of LGBTQ+ Aging

Sage offers the only comprehensive resource center for aging LGBTQ+ adults to ensure this community is supported in every way possible. They offer a broad range of assistance, publications, and guides on nearly 1,000 relevant topics, including:

  • Caregiving
  • LGBTQ+ inclusion and cultural competency
  • Elder abuse and neglect
  • Financial security and retirement
  • Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • HIV/AIDS

SAGE also offers resources to help you know your rights on a wide range of topics such as discrimination, healthcare, housing, legal and financial.

The National LGBTQ+ Housing Initiative

It is hard enough to find affordable housing later in life. Aging LGBTQ+ adults face the additional challenge of finding a place where they will be welcomed and treated with respect. Sage builds LGBTQ+-friendly housing in New York City and helps builders across the U.S. replicate similar housing. Sage advocates nationally against housing discrimination and makes sure that older LGBTQ+ adults are aware of their rights.

Sage Training

Improving care and quality of life for our LGBTQ+ elders is not possible without competent, quality training for those who work in elder care environments.

SAGECare is a cultural competency training program to help service providers create more welcoming LGBTQ+ environments in healthcare, skilled nursing, assisted and long-term living facilities, Hospice, and home health care. More importantly, SAGECare credentials help LGBTQ+ people find such providers.

Coffee for a Cause

Sage works tirelessly to make aging better for LGBTQ+ people nationwide. In support of their indispensable work, we’re introducing Above the Stereotypes as our May #coffeeforacause. During the month of May, buy Above the Stereotypes coffee and a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to Sage.

To learn more about Sage, visit their website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.