On Lok is collaborating with Openhouse to mark the month of PRIDE | News

Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services offers community support for LGBTQ + seniors

SAN FRANCISCO, June 24, 2022 / PRNewswire / – During the month of PRIDE, On Locke Recognizes the impact that LGBTQ + individuals have had on history, both locally and around the world, and proudly supports the right of the community to age with dignity. Teams at Locke were also attended by volunteers from Open house to support various PRIDE events during the month, including the upcoming San Francisco Honor Parade June 26thwhere On Lok staff will walk the route of the parade.

Since 2018, On Lok has been working with Openhouse, joining forces to create Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services, a safe and life-affirming space for LGTBQ + seniors to maintain independence by receiving culturally sensitive and charitable assistance.

“Community Day is a multifaceted program developed with the community and for society that provides much-needed services San Francisco the growth of the LGBTQ + population, ”he said John Blazek, CEO, Day Services, On Lok. “This is a program that has been developed over the years, combining the connection between the Openhouse and the LGBTQ + community of older adults, with deep roots of On Lok in the care and support of older people.”

Community Day has officially opened its doors December 2021 and provides social connections and fun activities dedicated to LGBTQ +, in a state-of-the-art center full of natural light and the pride of society. In addition, staff help seniors to remind about personal care and coordinate services, and provide transportation to and from the program when needed, and hot lunches, snacks and refreshments are provided daily. “We have designed a space where community members participate in activities, eat hot food together, and then return home, to their partners and families, and Community Day achieves this vision,” Blazhek added.

Older LGBC + people face loneliness and isolation due to a lack of public and health support and financial insecurity, as well as fear of discrimination and ill-treatment in institutional settings. According to Fr. A 2011 study published by the National Legal Center for Senior Citizens78% thought it would be dangerous for an LGBTQ + elderly person to be in a medical facility, and 80% believed that staff and other residents would discriminate against a senior LGBTQ + person who was out of the closet. While 43% reported having personally witnessed or known individuals who had experienced cases of ill-treatment.

Aging can be a vulnerable experience. As LGBTQ + people get older, they don’t want to feel like they need to hide who they are or their life experiences. Community Day staff experience first-hand the challenges and difficulties in navigating health care and other services, both for LGBTQ + and in quality. “Community Day staff strive to serve as senior members of our LGBTQ + community. This is a rare opportunity to become imaginative children who can give respite to partners and loved ones of our seniors who often neglect the system,” he said. Ephraim GetahunDirector of Strategic Partnership and Training Openhouse.

As part of its commitment to lowering barriers to access to health care among vulnerable populations, On Lok is seeking Community Day certification to become an alternative care facility (ACS) for its On Lok PACE program. In May, Community Day received this certification. Alternative care conditions are a physical institution other than the participant’s place of residence, where PACE participants can receive some necessary services such as activities, food and communication. On Lok has a history of supporting vulnerable populations by creating alternative conditions of assistance with partners in society. For LGBTQ seniors in the city, this means enrolling in On Lok PACE, a full-service health program, will also include the choice of attending Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services.

For more information on Community Day, please contact Ephraim Getahun by email at egetahun@openhousesf.org or by phone 415-535-0927. For more information on On Lok PACE eligibility call 855-973-1110 (TTY: 711).

About On Locke

On Lok is a non-profit organization that enables older people to grow old with dignity and independence. With 50 years of experience, On Lok is a reliable resource in San Francisco, Santa Clara Countyand the district of Trinity City Alameda County. He Locke founded and operates the Comprehensive Elderly Care Program (PACE), which allows eligible older people to live at home as long as possible by providing comprehensive health care and social services. At Lock 30th Street Senior Center, the largest multifunctional center for the elderly San Francisco, provides second homes, health programs, activities and services to manage the affairs of active seniors. The On Lok Mission nutrition program provides more than 250,000 meals annually for seniors through its restaurants and food delivery program. For more information, visit www.onlok.org.

About Openhouse

The Openhouse allows LGBTQ + seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area to overcome the unique challenges they face in aging by providing housing, direct services and community programs. Founded in 1998, it works to center voices and experiences LGBTQ + older people, providing opportunities to build social connections and build community. We strive to create a safe environment to encourage and support community members to share our diverse perspectives and identities to foster dynamic community participation. We recognize and affirm that LGBTQ + older people live at the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, culture, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and self-expression, spirituality and abilities. At Openhouse everyone is a member of the community.

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