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LGBT Guide to Healthy Living

Health Concerns for the LGBT Community

Create a Health Profile

Helpful Resources

Collecting Family Health History

healthy people 2010

Why do LGBT people need this tool?

LGBT people often face financial, personal and cultural barriers when attempting to access heatlh care.

These problems are compounded because:


LGBTQ People and Aging

Our country is facing an impending and tremendous challenge as baby boomers start aging into their senior years. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), the challenge is compounded because of widespread homophobia, transphobia, racial injustice and economic inequity. Currently there are an estimated 3 million LGBT elders in the United States. By 2030, that number will nearly double.

Compounding the challenges in addressing these issues is a critical lack of research about LGBT seniors. In addition, older LGBT people increasingly face the unknown dimensions of aging with HIV/AIDS as the first generation of survivors to navigate the impact of HIV on aging.

We are beginning to see new movement toward the awareness of the health needs of aging LGBT people. Around New York State, there are programs that are specifically designed to offer support and assistance as well as a sense of community to this important part of the LGBT community.

Programs like SAGE become an important "safety net" for LGBT elders. Incorporated by lesbian and gay activists and aging service professionals in 1978 as Senior Action in a Gay Environment, SAGE (now Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) is the world's oldest and largest non-profit agency addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders. 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. SAGE's programs include:

Today, there are a growing number of retirement communities, senior housing and other high-end housing options targeting LGBT seniors. But for hundreds of thousands of LGBT seniors who will be aging in place in their own communities, SAGE programs and services provide the link they need to a safe and welcoming community.
 
Visit SAGE at: www.sageusa.org

Find out more:

Download
Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults here :   http://www.sageusa.org/resources/publications.cfm?ID=21

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Alcoholism and the LGBTQ Community

Some studies show that at least two million gay men and lesbians abuse alcohol and as many as 30 percent of them will need chemical-dependency treatment at some point in their lives -- three times the odds facing the general population.

Clearly, problem drinking and alcoholism is a critical problem in critical proportions for LGBTQ people.

To find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in your area, www.gayalcoholics.com/aa-meetings.html

The LGBT Services Directory includes the names and contact information for several LGBTQ welcoming counselors and physicians that can help.

www.lgbtservicesdirectory.com

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Diabetes, are LGBT at Increased Risk?

When you think about populations affected with higher rates of diabetes you may not automatically think about the LGBT community.

It’s true that there isn’t a lot of data out there, but just because it isn’t directly measured, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Take into consideration:

Find out more about diabetes and what steps you can take to reduces your risk.

CDC      http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/

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Healthy LGBT Families

Are you facing cancer as an LGBT person or do you know of someone who is?

Out with Cancer is the worlds first program for Gay, Lesbian, BI and Trans men and women who are diagnosed with cancer. With Out with Cancer you can:

http://www.outwithcancer.com/

Beyond Pink: Lesbians and Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and lesbians have just as much reason to be concerned about breast cancer as other women -- and there are some indications that lesbians may be more likely to have certain risk factors for the disease
 
If you would like more information about lesbians and breast cancer, try The Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization; the National LGBT Cancer Project's archive on lesbians and cancer; any of the LGBT health centers listed on Mautner's Resources page; or the Lesbian Cancer Initiative of the New York LGBT Community Center. Fenway Community Health in Boston also has a page of resources about transgender health, including a brochure about breast cancer.

And because one of the key health issues for LGBT people in general is that we often do not get the regular preventative care we need -- either because of  lack of LGBT friendly providers or inadequate health insurance -- note that you can find local, LGBT friendly cancer screening services through the National LGBT Cancer Network, and can search for general LGBT-friendly health care providers in New York State at www.lgbtservicesdirectory.com

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Smoking and the LGBTQ Community

The LGBTQ community in New York State smokes at approximately three times the rate of the general adult population. Therefore, we also experience three times as much tobacco-related disease and death.

For information and resources about why LGBTQ smoking is so common, visit:

National LGBT Tobacco Control Network
www.lgbttobacco.org

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Ferre Institute is a community based-community supported non-profit organization devoted to quality services in genetics and reproductive health. Ferre Institute provides professional education to medical providers, counselors, and other human services personnel. Individual counseling and education are also provided to patients of all ages in the Genetic Counseling, Family Building, and Prenatal Risk Programs.