Like their straight counterparts, many LGBT seniors retire to South Florida to enjoy its combination of warm weather, low taxes, and a supportive community structure. Like many straight seniors, many LGBT seniors must deal with health, financial and other problems brought about by age and retirement.
At the same time, homo- and trans-phobic prejudice bring on special problems to older members of our community. LGBT organizations like the Pride Center at Equality Park provide special services that assist LGBT seniors deal with such problems. On Saturday, October 20 the Pride Center will hold its third annual LGBT Senior Health Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. At the Expo, representatives of fifty LGBT-friendly medical, professional, financial and support providers will showcase their services and products.
According to Kristopher Fegenbush, the Pride Center Deputy Director, the LGBT Senior Health Expo “aims to provide a fun, helpful ‘one-stop-shop’ of vital information, resources and service linkage for our local LGBT seniors. We want to help our seniors connect with vital services they may need in our community. The Expo offers a unique, comprehensive overview of culturally competent healthcare services.” Last year’s Expo, which Fegenbursh calls “a great success,” was attended by over 200 LGBT seniors, their friends and loved ones. However, as good as the second Senior Health Expo was, this year’s event promises to be better, according to Fegenbush.
“Each year, we improve the event. We respond to the desires and needs of our senior population. Over 100 seniors participate in Coffee and Conversation events, Game Days and Speaker Series at the Center each Tuesday. These seniors define for us what should be at the Expo. This year we have a wider variety of businesses and services at the trade show. We are offering more health screening tests on site. And we offer some fascinating, engaging educational seminars on topics that seniors have requested. We are ensuring we have great speakers and interesting subjects.”
He continued: “The Expo is a labor of love for the volunteer community committee that organizes the event. Collaborating community partners on the committee include the Pride Center’s Senior Advisory Council, Futurity First, SAGE of South Florida, Women in Network, Gilda’s Club, Hospice of Broward County, SunServe, The Peninsula, 55+ Magazine and SFGN. Major Diamond-level presenting sponsors for this year’s event include Broward Health at Imperial Point. Freedom Travel is the Emerald-level lunch sponsor.”
The Pride Center at Equality Park is located at 2040 North Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors. Admission to the LGBT Senior Health Expo is free and includes free lunch at noon, flu shots and medical testing for hearing, sight, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and HIV, door prizes and much more.