I am delighted to announce and welcome our newest CARP Chapter supporting members of the LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay & Transgendered) community.
A core value of CARP, as an advocacy organization representing a New Vision of Aging for Canada, is an abiding commitment to advancing the rights and dignity of every individual. It is also a key objective to build a strong spirit of community and a sense of inclusiveness within our membership, ensuring that CARP is a welcoming organization that respects and embraces diversity.
Fostering an environment of civility and mutual respect is the basis of our commitment: reaching out to people of varied ethnic backgrounds, gender, ability, family or financial status, age, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and gender identity.
While many of the issues faced by Canadians as we age are common, some of the needs and challenges facing our LGBT members as they age, including issues with the health care system; legal rights, including powers of attorney; housing and long term care, etc., differ from their heterosexual counterparts.
According to Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE), Aging members of the LGBT community are:
Twice as likely to live alone.
Half as likely to have life partners or significant others.
Half as likely to have no close relatives to call for help.
Four times less likely to have children to help them.
Our Pink Chapter is based on the same goals and principles as our other chapters, facilitating the lines of communication between the national office and members; helping to keep members informed and involved in the policies and priorities of the organization and helping to grow CARP membership throughout the country. But it will be a virtual chapter, rather than a geographically-based chapter, and will exist to connect its chapter members primarily via internet social networking, email and e-newsletter media.
Our Pink Chapter is a way for CARP to support our current LGBT members, broaden our membership outreach, and offer a means of connecting on issues of importance to this community, supporting one another and helping CARP fulfill its mandate of fostering a New Vision of Aging for Canadians.
I hope you will join me in welcoming and congratulating John Thornton, the Chapter Chair and his executive team to the CARP Community. For more information, visit www.carp.ca/carppink
VP Community Development