New group addresses issues for LGBT seniors
Rainbow Roundtable will hold weekly meetings at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre Health Notes Craig Takeuchi
Aging can be challenging in 2
itself, but as openly LGBT elders increase in number, more attention is turning toward how LGBT senior citizens can sometimes experience additional or unique issues that NON–LGBT individuals may not.
The first few generations of openly LGBT people—who fought for the rights and equality that younger generations are benefiting from today—are now entering new territory in increasing numbers. According to estimates by the Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health, there were approximately 26,000 LGBT seniors in the Lower Mainland in 2012.
In some cases, LGBT seniors feel that they need to go back into the closet when they relocate to predominantly heterosexual and cisgender care facilities among other seniors or caregivers who may be homophobic, transphobic, or intolerant.
Others, such as those whose social networks may have been devastated by the onset of the AIDS crisis or who have been rejected by their families and friends, may face social isolation or limited social circles. In addition, many LGBT elders may not have children or partners and face the prospect of aging alone.
Still others, who faced discrimination or rejection while seeking employment, may have had limited or minimal incomes over their lifetime, which has an impact upon retirement budgets.
However, a new weekly discussion and activity group in Vancouver will help participants to learn and talk about the issues that LGBT elders face
(roundhouse.ca/ programs/older-adult/ -
IT’S FINALLY OPEN! If you walked, biked, or drove along Nelson Street in the past few years, you probably noticed an empty storefront with papers on the windows for Heirs Pears, those signs eventually saying things like “Opening soon…seriously!” The spot has opened its doors at last, serving “slow food, fast”. Its concept is “hackable” meals made from ethically sourced ingredients; its goal is to “raise the consciousness of our systems with human and ecological well-being in mind”. That all means high-quality products for people who believe they are what they eat, whether they follow a vegan, keto, paleo, vegetarian, or omnivore diet.
A partnership with Teaja, a global organic tea company, Heirs Pears takes its name from an old English saying: “Plant pears for your heirs.” (Pear trees take several years to mature before they bear fruit; it’s a fitting moniker, since Heirs Pears itself was literally years in the making.)
Suppliers include the Gluten Free Epicurean (all sandwiches are served on gluten-free bread), Hoochy Booch kombucha, East Village Bakery, and Pallet Coffee Roasters. Menu options are deliciously diverse: cuminand-black-bean salad with kohlrabi, plum, and roasted yam; harissa-spice cod with carrot, fennel, and cured lemon; duck hash with beet greens; tempeh cabbage rolls in house-made basil-tomato sauce, and more.