FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2009
Contact: Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAGE to Host Life Planning Clinics for LGBT Seniors
Leading Law Firms Will Provide Pro Bono Assistance on Healthcare and Financial Documents
NEW YORK – SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders) is hosting Life Planning Clinics on Thursday, April 16 in five locations across New York City as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day. These clinics are funded by a grant from the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program, a project of the American Bar Association Commission on Law & Aging. Several top law firms will provide information and assistance on healthcare and financial documents for LGBT seniors.
The clinics will provide essential information to older adults regarding the necessity of advanced directives regarding healthcare and financial decisions. The directives to be discussed at the clinics include the Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Release, and Funeral Directive. At each clinic older adults will have the opportunity to complete and file their own advanced directives. Advanced directives are especially important for LGBT older adults as they ensure that the person who understands their wishes best is in charge of their care and finances. Advanced directives are essential for all LGBT people to protect their rights in case they are not able to speak for themselves.
“It is so important that SAGE is able to offer these services for free to seniors that need these crucial legal documents,” said Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE. “Given that our inheritance laws discriminate against LGBT people and that same-sex couples who have been together for decades are often treated as legal strangers, it’s critically important that LGBT seniors know what legal steps they can take to protect themselves.”
National Healthcare Decisions Day is a 50-state annual initiative that provides (free of charge) essential information to older adults regarding the necessity of advanced directives as well as the opportunity for seniors across the nation to complete and file their own advanced directives. For more information on National Healthcare Decisions Day visit the website at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.
SAGE life planning clinics are co-sponsored by Bronx Community Pride Center, Griot Circle, the LGBT Community Center of New York, Maranatha of The Riverside Church, and SAGE Queens, a program of Queens Community House.
Many of New York City’s leading law firms are providing pro bono support for the project by staffing the clinics with attorneys and paralegals. Participating law firms include: Bingham McCutchen LLP; JPMorgan Chase Legal and Compliance Department; Kelley Drye & Warren LLP; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
WHAT: SAGE Life Planning Clinic
National Healthcare Decisions Day
WHERE: Locations across New York City – full listing available at www.sageusa.org
WHEN: Thursday, April 16, 2009
For more information, please visit: http://www.sageusa.org/specialevents/home.cfm?ID=34&content=156
About SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
SAGE is the world’s oldest and largest non-profit agency dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older people. Since its inception, SAGE has pioneered programs and services for the aging LGBT community, provided technical assistance and training to expand opportunities for LGBT older people across the country, and provided a national voice on LGBT aging issues. In 2005, SAGE became the first official LGBT delegate at the White House Conference on Aging. In 2008, SAGE presented its Fourth National Conference on LGBT Aging, entitled “It’s About Time” sponsored by AARP. For more information, please visit www.sageusa.org.
About the Partnerships in Law and Aging Program
The Partnerships in Law and Aging Program is a collaborative effort of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging, with ongoing support from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Endowment. The program is designed to:
• spur collaboration and develop effective partnerships among providers of law-related services to older persons, including public sector legal services programs, private bar, access to justice initiatives, and state and area agencies on aging; elder rights advocates, including legal assistance developers and long-term care ombudsmen; and courts, social services, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations;
• enhance legal awareness and autonomy and promote the rights of elders who are poor or otherwise isolated by geography, culture, language, disability, education, or other barriers;
• improve elder access to the legal system by expanding available resources and exploring new methods for providing assistance, including holistic delivery, technology-based systems, self-help clinics, and the innovative use of volunteers;
• and serve as a catalyst for development of effective, permanent partnerships and resources and replication of successful projects.