The Buddy Program helps and assists older LGBT adults in Monmouth

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LGBT Older Adult Project at Monmouth University
LGBT Older Adult Project at Monmouth University

Could you or someone you know that is older benefit from a Buddy Program? Jersey Shore QSpot has partnered with Monmouth University’s Social Work and Nursing schools Buddy Program for Older LGBT Adults. The program, created by Dr. Laura Kelly, has been a part of the university’s Social Work and Nursing schools for many years.

Two years ago, in September 2015, the program moved to QSpot and became a joint project. The Buddy Program provides companion visits to older members of the LGBT community who are alone, homebound, hospitalized or otherwise physically or socially isolated. Buddies visit clients to help them feel connected and assist with their essential needs. The program also identifies additional resources needed and works to integrate them into a total care program.

Although this seems simple and somewhat unnecessary to younger LGBT community members, studies show that institutionalized bias forces many LGBT older adults back into the closet as they age. In settings such as retirement and assisted-living communities, nursing homes, and hospitals they are often victims of discrimination.

Some anti-LGBT personnel are very difficult to identify and stop the victimization that sometimes occurs, according to recent studies. Staffers that refuse to service the older LGBT community in publicly funded facilities often purposefully put up roadblocks that prevent support services like the Buddy Program from locating and helping LGBT residents and clients.

Privacy is a recognized concern for the Buddy Program and they assure the community that all information will remain confidential. To volunteer or learn more about the Buddy Program or how you can help an older LGBT adult you may contact info@jsqspot.org or call (732) 455-3373.

qspot.org.