SPRINGFIELD – Older adults in the LGBTQ community could be designated advocates under the Department on Aging for addressing mistreatment and disparities faced by LGBTQ seniors and seniors with HIV, thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago).
“The LGBTQ community already faces an immense amount of stress regarding their sexual orientation, gender identity, lack of legal support and health care opportunities,” Villa said. “A dedicated advocate will help ensure older LGBTQ adults have the support they need and deserve.”
Villa’s measure would require the Department on Aging to provide older LGBTQ adults with a designated advocate and creates an LGBTQ Older Adult Curriculum & Training Program for Department on Aging service providers and contractors.
Designated advocates would help older LGBTQ adults and adults living with HIV face unique challenges as they age because of a lack of affirming resources, services available and the ongoing stigmatization.
“Every LGTBQ adult should have the same access to support and resources as everyone else,” Villa said. “Designated advocates will give misrepresented communities the tools needed for success.”
Villa partnered with advocates from the AARP, Equality Illinois and Pride Action Tank to create this legislation toward supporting older LGBTQ adults.
SB 3490 passed the Healthcare Access and Availability committee Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.