LGBT adults face many unique challenges as they age. They are generally an underserved and understudied aging population. Fear of discrimination contributes to poor health – with more than 20% reporting not having told health care providers of their sexual orientation. Social support consists of friends and partners of the same age, as most do not have children and are long estranged from families of origin. Fear of violence keeps many isolated in their homes and historical job losses have left many impoverished. The national Alzheimer’s Association has expressed concern about the growing numbers of LGBT seniors living alone with developing dementia. In recent years, local and national organizations have developed to address many of these challenges. Our show will highlight one such program and one such leader working to make a difference. Karen McPhail will discuss why this work is so necessary and how you, as an individual can either find the support you need or ways to help.
Karen McPhail, BSN, MSN, CDP
Karen Mullen McPhail, Co-founder of Aging Rainbows and the Director of Eldementals LLC, is a professional care manager with over 30 years experience in the healthcare industry. Since 2001 she has worked as a private Healthcare Consultant and Care Manager in the DC Metro area. Her specialty is managing complex care needs and providing concierge-style care management for private clients. Karen has a BSN and MSN in nursing with a specialized designation as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgetown University. She has published work in the Journal of Nursing Administration and others. Karen is a frequent public speaker and authors a wellness blog titled “Eldementals™. As Board Chair for Aging Rainbows, she and other volunteers offer community education and programming to improve the aging experience for LGBT seniors. Karen frequently participates in podcasts and has been featured on local radio and television discussing the unique challenges of LGBT aging.