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Continued: Rosenblum: Film, forum will address struggles facing LGBT elderly

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 24, 2014 - 7:57 PM

No wonder many remain skeptical about how they will be treated in the health care system.

Good training, and honest conversations, such as that set to occur Thursday, are important first steps toward creating trust and competent care, Blom said. Even something as simple as an affirming question can make a huge difference, such as moving past “marital status,” and asking instead, “Tell me about the significant relationships in your life.”

“Gen Silent” reminds us that too many among us cannot do even that. One particularly sad segment of the film focuses on a 59-year-old transgender woman dying of cancer. When she is hospitalized, no family member steps forward to care for her. A generous team of volunteers rallies to support her, but it’s still a heartbreaker.

Brady’s heart is breaking too, but for a different reason. He and Mikkola, who were married in a Lutheran church in 2006, will never again travel, or go the Guthrie or Orchestra Hall, or enjoy long conversations. “He seems to know who I am,” Brady said. “He’ll pick up my hand and kiss it.”

Brady came out at 52, after a 25-year marriage. He has two grown children and knows that if and when his time comes to need help, loving family will step up. Most important now is that he has found a welcoming place for Mikkola.

“They refer to me as Ed’s spouse,” Brady said. “You can tell they’re loving people.”

The “Gen Silent” screening is at 6 p.m. at the Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Av. S., in Minneapolis, followed by a panel discussion about elder isolation with geriatric professionals and legal experts.

The evening is free and open to the public, although registration is recommended. To register, contact info@littlebrothersmn.org or call 612-746-0726.)

gail.rosenblum@startribune.com

612-673-7350

Follow Gail on Twitter: @grosenblum

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