Longtime Human Services Leader Dale Mitchell Appointed to State Commission on LGBT Aging
BOSTON, April 3, 2014 – Ethos, the Jamaica Plain-based aging and disability services non-profit, announced today that its Executive Director, Dale Mitchell, has been appointed to a special state commission on long-term care needs of older the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
According to a 2010 study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, approximately 3.8-7.6% of the total elder population is LGBT and this is expected to double by 2030 as the baby boomers, the first generation of post-Stonewall, openly LGBT older adults continues to age.
The National LGBT Health and Aging Center reported recently that 20% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults do not disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity to their physician. The same study found that 68% of those surveyed reported experienced verbal harassment and 43% experienced physical violence.
In addition to long-term care needs, the commission will also investigate, analyze and study the health, housing, financial, psychosocial of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults. It will also examine the impact of state policies and regulations on LGBT older adults and make recommendations to ensure equality of access, treatment, care and benefits.
“I am honored to serve the state to help reduce isolation, prevent abuse and exploitation, and improve access to service while promoting independence and self-determination, among LGBT older adults,” said Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos. In addition to Ethos, Mr. Mitchell is representing Mass Home Care, a statewide trade association of 27 Aging Services Access Points and Area Agencies on Aging.
The LGBT Aging Commission consists of 20 members, representing the executive and legislative branches of government, advocacy groups such as; MassEquality; LGBT Aging Project, AARP of Massachusetts, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and National Association on HIV Over Fifty, to name a few.
As part of their work, the commission will hold public meetings, fact-finding hearings and other public forums and formulate and its recommendations, including recommendations for legislation, with the clerks of the House of Representatives and Senate within the next 12 months.