LGBTQ Programming

You marched in the first Pride parades and went to women’s music festivals. You endured public support for discriminatory laws like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. You lost friends and partners to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. You cheered when the Supreme Court legalized marriage in 2015. You are still angry that employers can discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression.

You are an older adult who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).

In your lifetime, you’ve witnessed incredible change and progress in our society’s treatment of LGBTQ individuals.

At the same time, discriminatory policies have taken their toll, especially as you age. In fact, many LGBTQ older adults face financial insecurity, social isolation or caregiving issues, or limited access to aging services.

Iona is here for you.

We believe no one should have barriers to their positive aging. Our LGBTQ-inclusive aging services provide spaces for you to find and build community and tap into our 40+ years of expertise navigating complex aging challenges. We help you think about your future and start planning now. How to find in-home care. How to afford services you need. How to prepare for a move.

Iona’s wide range of eldercare services are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Through presentations, fitness classes, support groups, care management, and more, we help older adults and their family caregivers thrive in the community.

Classes

Iona is proud to offer programs specifically created for LGBTQ older adults, in addition to our other programs that are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. We’ve offered special Take Charge/Age Well Academy™ classes for people who identify as LGBTQ, including popular topics:

  • A Roadmap to Aging for LGBTQ Older Adults
  • LGBTQ Older Adults: Understanding Your Public Benefits
  • LGBTQ Women Take Charge of Your Aging
  • Estate Planning for the LGBTQ Community

We plan to offer these classes, and others, again in the future.

Silver Circles: Peer-Led Support Groups

We offer peer-led support groups for adults who are 60+ and identify as LGBTQ. Each group meets twice a month. Come connect with other LGBTQ peers, create a safe space to talk about issues that impact you, and build support to help navigate challenges. Silver Circles is a joint project between Whitman-Walker Health, Max Robinson Center, and Iona Senior Services. It is free thanks to the support of the DC Office on Aging. For more information about registration, location, and dates, please email mmitchell@whitman-walker.org or call (202) 939-7646.

LGBTQ Aging Services Network

Iona is a co-convener, along with Whitman-Walker Health and Mary’s House of the LGBTQ Aging Services Network.

The LGBTQ Aging Services Network was formed in 2017 by a group of LGBTQ* community elder advocates and mainstream service providers in the Washington, DC metro area. These network members coalesced around the understanding that gender and sexual minority elders are often invisible to the mainstream elder service providers and that older LGBTQ people are often invisible within the LGBTQ community as well. Too often, these older adults are socially isolated and medically underserved, putting them at risk for a wide variety of emotional and physical challenges. On the other hand, the LGBTQ community is highly resilient. These elders have lived through a number of highly significant cultural shifts that give them skills and tools to continue to adapt to changing situations.

The Network’s overall goal is to improve or create professional services for LGBTQ older adults to ensure they have access to:

  • Culturally-competent health services, including life-prolonging and life-enhancing treatments;
  • Culturally-competent behavioral health and social services;
  • Meaningful opportunities for interaction and community-building with other LGBTQ adults, to reduce social isolation;
  • Appropriate and affordable housing, with relevant supportive services; and
  • Legal protections.

The LGBTQ Aging Services Network is committed to taking into account the LGBTQ elders’s varied lived experiences arising from race, ethnicity, gender, and class. The Network will strive to advocate for the creation of programs and services that respond to racism, sexism, and homophobia, in order to support the best possible outcomes for all elders. For more information, please contact Susan Messina at smessina@iona.org or (202) 895-9401.

LGBTQ-inclusive services at IonaUpcoming Events

Take a look below for upcoming LGBTQ-specific events. You can also view our full calendar of events here.

If you have questions about Iona’s LGBTQ outreach or our programs and services, please contact Iona’s Helpline. In your message, please also let us know if you would like to be added to Iona’s LGBTQ mailing list. You will receive special information about LGBTQ learning opportunities and meet-and-greets to build community, as well as relevant articles from Iona’s blog.

Iona’s Discrimination Policy

Iona Senior Services does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, participants, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and guests.

Iona Senior Services is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.