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National conference on aging features GLBT sessions March 26-30
National conference on aging features GLBT sessions March 26-30
The 2008 Aging in America Conference sponsored by the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging will include an array of sessions addressing the concerns of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people ages 50-plus. Aging in America is the largest annual multidisciplinary conference in the United States for professionals who work with older adults; this year, the event will take place in Washington, D.C., March 26-30.

"The first generation of people who grew up with the Gay movement of the 1960s and 1970s are now in their 50s and 60s," said Brian de Vries, a professor of gerontology at San Francisco State University who serves as cochair of ASA's Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN). "This cultural shift is increasingly inspiring healthcare and social services providers, as well as the LGBT community in general, to focus on LGBT aging. The Aging in America Conference offers an ideal opportunity for both professionals and nonprofessionals to learn about this vital issue."

The conference will feature more than 20 sessions on LGBT midlife and old age, with an emphasis on such topics as health and mental health, HIV/AIDS, advocacy and public policy, cultural competence and program models. In addition, on Saturday, March 29, LGAIN will offer a featured program, "Inclusion, Organizing and Outreach: Innovations and Dialogue on LGBT Aging," which will bring LGBT elders from the D.C. area together with experts from around the United States for a full day of learning, discussion and network building.

"The 'Inclusion, Organizing and Outreach' program will give professionals and LGBT older adults an exceptional opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives with each other," said Kimberly Acquaviva, cochair of LGAIN and assistant professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. "Exchanges of this sort are highly unusual at professional conferences. The program reflects our longtime commitment to finding ways to enhance the skills of professionals while supporting LGBT elders in advocating for themselves."

As a curtain-raiser for the featured program, another special event will take place at the conference on March 29: A Critical Issues in Aging session titled "Ten More Good Years: A Documentary Film on LGBT Aging and the Story Behind It." Filmmaker Mike Jacoby will present "Ten More Good Years," his new documentary which sheds light on the experience of LGBT aging in America today and raises questions about the quality of life for future LGBT elders.

The Aging in America Conference also will provide a number of networking and social activities for professionals interested in LGBT aging. Among these events is a special welcome reception on Thursday, March 27, hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil-rights advocacy organization. The reception will take place at the organization's D.C. headquarters.

Based in San Francisco, the American Society on Aging has been a national leader in continuing education for professionals in aging since 1954; the association's Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network, founded in 1994, is the only professional group of its kind. The National Council on Aging, based in Washington, D.C., has been helping community organizations for over 50 years through advocacy, research, demonstration programs and innovative education and service initiatives.

The 2008 Aging in America Conference is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants from throughout North America to attend some 600 sessions on all aspects of aging. A complete schedule and online registration are available via the conference website at www.agingconference.org. (For details about sessions on LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues, visitors can use the "Search the Sessions" feature on the site; many are listed under "Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender" in the Keyword menu; searching by title for the terms "Gay," "LGBT" and "HIV" will return additional listings.)

An American Society on Aging press release. More information on the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network, as well as extensive resources on LGBT aging, are available via the LGAIN home page at www.asaging.org/lgain.
 

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