Guerneville Aging Together with Pride for LGBT Seniors Starts April 9

To support LGBT seniors’ optimal aging, the Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division is hosting an eight-week group, Aging Together With Pride, on Saturdays, April 9-May 28, 1-3 p.m., at the Russian River Senior Resource Center, 15010 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville.

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender seniors don’t seek needed social services, benefits and health care, such as money for food, low-cost housing or in-home care, because they are reluctant to talk openly about their sexual orientation or gender identity with caregivers and service providers. During their lifetimes, many suffered the loss of family, friends, jobs and housing because of bias. Each session allows LGBT older adults to share thoughts and experiences in a safe environment, while developing strategies for accessing local resources and services comfortably.

Register at (707) 227-6935. A $20 fee for the series is requested, and no one turned away.

The series is facilitated by Gary “Buz” Hermes, M.A., co-facilitator of the Sonoma Valley LGBT Seniors Group. Hermes’ background includes senior outreach work with the Spectrum Center for LGBT Concerns, support groups and workshops for LGBT caregivers, positive aging workshops, and service coordination for low-income seniors.

The Guerneville series is the third of several groups offered during the one-year program, Reaching Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Seniors in Sonoma County, which is sponsored by a grant from the Sonoma County LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) Giving Circle of the Community Foundation Sonoma County (www.sonomacf.org), and funds from the Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division.