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Are you reaching all populations in need of your services? There are an estimated 8 million LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) aging and disabled persons in the United States and the LGBT population aged 65+ is expected to double in size over the next several decades. Most LGBT older adults have experienced various forms of discrimination throughout their lives, and many are reluctant to openly identify themselves as LGBT when they need help. In addition, many have limited assistance and support from biological family members.

On July 10, 2012, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, issued new guidance on the definition of the term greatest social need in the Older Americans Act to include “individuals isolated due to sexual orientation or gender identity.” The federal Administration for Community Living—which works to keep older adults living as independently as possible—recently concluded that LGBT older adults are in need of targeted outreach for services.  

To enable aging units to provide culturally-competent services to the LGBT population, we offer these pointers on where to find training and examples of aging and disability resource centers that have successfully implemented these culturally-competent services.

Education and Training

There are a variety of Web-based and in-person staff trainings available through the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. The most popular training for aging units is “Improving Aging Services for LGBT Older Adults – Level 1 (4 hours).”

As another preliminary step, the documentary Gen Silent—the critically-acclaimed documentary from the film maker Stu Maddux—highlights six LGBT seniors—capturing their day-to-day lives, showing the effects of discrimination over a lifetime.

WI Dept. of Health Services Webpage on LGBT Health/Aging

Culturally-Competent Care and Training

The following is available:

  • Short video on why an agency should request a cultural competency training
  • Short clip from Gen Silent (fear of hostile homecare workers)
  • Practical guide to collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Practical guide to creating welcoming agencies

Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults

A tool intended to foster respect and provide an introduction to LGBT aging for long-term care and other aging service providers. The tool is divided into 6 modules, each approximately 10 minutes long. It is recommended that the modules be viewed in order and they do not need to be watched all at once.

Creating a Trans-Welcoming Environment

Creating a trans-welcoming environment involves more than an agency checking off boxes on a cultural competency checklist. The webinar reviews key transgender-specific 2011 research data highlighting why transgender victims/survivors are hesitant to access services and how victim service agencies can begin to address these concerns through creating a more trans-accessible and respectful environment. Tangible and intangible practical details are discussed—including common components such as policies, paperwork, and procedures. Stories and examples emphasize the pros and cons of individual action steps, as well as best practices.

PDF of the Presentation

Best Practices

ADRC of Kenosha County

Like many minority groups, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) older adults have unique needs and barriers to accessing services which put them at greater risk for poor health outcomes and unmet long-term care needs. The ADRC formed a small workgroup during summer 2012 with the intention to improve competency in serving the LGBT population.  

  • In October 2012 they offered a staff training, which they found through the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. The training is free for ADRC staff.
  • Since that time, they have offered a community showing of Gen Silent, and have reviewed and updated various forms to create culturally-competent language.
  • Resource kiosk in the lobby has specific LGBT resources, labeled with the rainbow flag.
  • Recruited an LGBT community member to serve on the ADRC Board.
  • Have a sign in their lobby and information on their Website that states what consumers can expect when visiting the ADRC that says:
    • We will listen.
    • We will treat you with courtesy and respect.
    • We will provide fair and correct information.
    • We will help you to understand and access services or programs for which you may be eligible.
    • We will keep your personal information private.
    • We will be welcoming to all of our customers regardless of age, race or ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, nationality, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
    • We will respond to any complaint quickly and work to resolve it.

For more information, contact:
Helen Sampson, LCSW

Quality Specialist, ADRC of Kenosha County
(262) 605-6614

ADRC of Brown County

“We began this journey with two primary goals in mind. First and foremost was to become a more inclusive and welcoming agency for the LGBT community. Second, and a by-product of the first, was to network and partner with both LGBT groups and long-term care entities, to promote a more inclusive and welcoming community as a whole. These are a few examples of steps taken to help us move toward this goal:

  • Training: Provided culturally-competent trainings that enhanced staff awareness and understanding of the LGBT population (National Resource Center on LGBT Aging training).  
  • Internal Agency Systems: Review and explore changes to intake forms and added non-discriminatory statement to our Website. 
  • Networking/Outreach: Work with local open and affirming churches such as United Church of Christ and Unitarian Churches; ADRC presentations for local LGBT support groups; partner with groups such as UW-Green Bay Pride Center to promote and organize events that educate and build awareness around the LGBT population and the challenges with regard to long-term care needs (ADRC sponsored showing of critically-acclaimed film Gen Silent and follow-up training with local partners to discuss the film and challenges faced by the LGBT community).

What we learned is that it isn’t enough that our staff be culturally-competent. We need to be present and visible in the LGBT community so they see that we are warm and welcoming, open, and inclusive. We stand committed to working closely with the LBGT community, local agencies, and community members to help create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all.”      

For more information, contact:
Sheri Mealy, I & A Specialist 
Jim Sweeney, I & A Specialist
(920) 448-4300

Presentations and Handouts: 2014 Wisconsin Aging Network Conference

More could be added so check back soon. Recently added: A1, B2, and B6.

Available now: Thursday Morning Presentation, Friday Morning Presentation, A1, A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8/C8, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, D1, D2, D4, D5, D6, E1, E2, E4, E5, E6, E7, and E8 (bolded).

General Sessions

Thursday Morning: Thinking Big About Aging
Speaker: LaRhae Knatterud

Friday Morning: The Role of the Aging Network in Long-Term Care
Speaker: Larry Polivka, Ph.D.


A1. Aging With Dignity: The Elder Economic Security Index
Presenters: Virginia Zerpa, Alzheimer’s Association of SE Wisconsin; Lorna Dilley, Milwaukee Succeeds, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

A2. Abuse of LGBT Elders: Addressing the Differences
Presenter: Loree Cook-Daniels, FORGE, Inc.
Janine-Katherine-Risa Case Study
Jorge-Jesus-Earl Case Study
LGBT Elder Abuse Resources

A3. Strengthening the Workplace: Embracing Cultural & Intergenerational Leadership Styles
Presenter: Gina Green-Harris, UW-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute

A4. Effective Techniques for Enhancing Brain Fitness
Presenter: Robert J. Best, Oak Hill Terrace
Handout 1
Handout 2

A5. Technology for Reading Independence for Persons With Low Visions
Presenter: Jean Kalscheur, Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired

A6. Collaboration to Develop Dementia-Friendly Communities
Presenters: Sue Konkel, ADRC of Jefferson County; Jan Zimmerman, Heritage Homes

A7. PoweringUP! Your Volunteer Engagement – It’s Time to Get Ready
Presenters: Patricia Reid, n4a; Tom Endres, n4a
Readiness Assessment Tool

A8. Using Process Improvements to Increase Revenue & Evaluate Daily Operations
Presenters: Kathryn Snell, Oshkosh Seniors Center; Chris Armstrong, Oshkosh Seniors Center

B1. Wisconsin’s Elder Population & Workforce
Presenter: Eric Grosso, Wisconsin DHS, Office on Aging

B2. Our Stories for Serving Hmong Elders
Presenters: Pang Moua, Marathon County Health Department; Va Thao, La Crosse County Aging Unit; Mor Yang, Wausau Area Hmong Mutual Association
Presentation 1
Presentation 2

B3. Educational Resources to Help Employers Support Working Caregivers
Presenters: Clifton Barber, UW-Madison & UW Cooperative Extension; Claire Culbertson, GWAAR; Jane Jensen, UW Cooperative Extension Family Living Programs, Sheboygan County; Kathleen Manny, Sheboygan County ADRC
Educational Resources to Help Employers Support Working Caregivers

B4. Financial Elder Abuse: Addressing Investment Fraud
Presenters: From the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions – Securities Division: Deborah Fabritz; Lindsay Fedler; James “Bo” Lackey

B5. Fighting Falls Effectively: State & Local Initiatives
Presenters: Trisha Bailkey, ADRC of Barron, Rusk, & Washburn Counties; Anne Hvizdak, Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources; Valeree Lecey, GWAAR

B6. Expand Your Reach: Online Resources for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Families
Presenters: Joan Litwitz, Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Wisconsin; Krista Scheel, Alzheimer’s Association-SE Wisconsin

B7. Tribal Opportunity in Building Long-Term Care Capacity
Presenters: Denise Pommer, Menominee Department of Aging and Long-Term Care; Lois Krizan, Menominee County Department of Human Services; Beth Wroblewski, Wisconsin DHS, Division of Long-Term Care
Presentation 1
Presentation 2

B8/C8. Think BIG, Think POWER (People Organizing & Working for Elder Rights)
Presenters: Tom Frazier, Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network; Janet Zander, GWAAR; Esther Olson, Dane County Area Agency on Aging Board; Stephanie Sue Stein, Milwaukee County Department on Aging

C1. Intergenerational Connections: The Building Blocks for Strong Communities
Presenters: Sue Kelley, Shorewood Connects; Elizabeth Price, Shorewood Senior Resource Center

C2. Aging Well: A Model of Self-Management
Presenter: Randy Kohl, Milwaukee County Department on Aging

C3. Healthy Aging–Free From Abuse
Presenters: Ann Turner, National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life; Cleveland J. Doxtater, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin

C4. Making Caregivers a Priority: Wisconsin’s Dementia Care System Redesign
Presenters: Kristen Felten, WI DHS, Office on Aging; Lynn Gall, WI DHS, Office on Aging; Lisa Wells, ADRC of Eau Claire County
Presentation 1
Presentation 2

C5. Enhancing Partnerships: Managed Care Organizations & Aging Programs
Presenters: Mark Hilliker, Community Care of Central Wisconsin; Jim Hodson, Milwaukee County Department of Family Care; Maria Ledger, Milwaukee County Department of Family Care

C6. Senior Center Accreditation
Presenter: Jill Kranz, Middleton Senior Center
Why Work Toward Accreditation and Helpful Hints

C7. The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round
Presenters: Leslie Fijalkiewicz, Barron County Office on Aging & ADRC of Barron County; Chris Hagen, ADRC of Barron County

D1. Establishing an Effective Advocacy Committee at the Local Level
Presenters: Tom Frazier, Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network; Bob Haase, Milwaukee County Commission on Aging; Jon Janowski, Milwaukee County Department on Aging; Esther Olson, Dane County Area Agency on Aging Board; Janet Zander, GWAAR

D2. Aging, ADRCs, & the LGBT Community
Presenters: Sheri Mealy, ADRC of Brown County; Helen Sampson, ADRC of Kenosha County; Jim Sweeney, ADRC of Brown County

D3. Health Care Partnerships: A Great Prescription for Your Community
Presenters: Jill Renken, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging/, GWAAR; Ashley Holly, Holy Family Memorial; Sherri Ohly, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging; Harvey Padek, WIHA & GWAAR

D4. Nutrition Program Revitalization Task Force: If You Build It, Will They Come?
Presenters: Stephanie Arneberg, Washburn County Unit on Aging; Barbara Bauer, Florence County ADRC; Ronda James, ADRC of Central Wisconsin;
Sara Koenig, WI DHS, Office on Aging; Angela Velasquez, Area Agency on Aging of Dane County

D5. Aging in Place: Planning for Your Future Care Needs
Presenters: Jennifer Owen, ADRC of Eau Claire County; Lisa Wells, ADRC of Eau Claire County
Presentation 1
Presentation 2

D6. Generations: A Community Collaboration Approach to Support & Engage All Generations
Presenters: Marsha Vollbrecht, Aurora Health Care & Founder, Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition; Joann Wieland, Generations

D7. How AARP Wisconsin Engages & Motivates Members Through Social Media
Presenters: Jim Flaherty, AARP WI; Jessica Prell, AARP WI

D8. A Healthy Body in a Healthy Mind
Presenter: Jo Chern, The QiGong Center of South Central Wisconsin

E1. Myths & Facts About Social Security, Medicare, & the Affordable Care Act
Presenter: Billy Feitlinger, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans
Fact Sheet 1
Fact Sheet 2
Fact Sheet 3

E2. The Myths & Realities of Aging & Driving
Presenters: Bill Grosz, Sauk County Commission on Aging/ADRC; Joan Litwitz, Alzheimer’s Association, Greater WI Chapter; Steven Pazynski, Department of Motor Vehicles of Wisconsin; Carrie Porter, GWAAR

E3. The Role of the Aging Network in Long-Term Care
Presenter: Larry Polivka, The Claude Pepper Center

E4. Individual & Community Outcomes Related to Dementia Care Specialists in ADRCs
Presenters: Sue Konkel, ADRC of Jefferson County; Rhonda Lechner, WI Office for Resource Center Development; Misty Mogensen, ADRC of the North
Presentation 1
Presentation 2

E5. Diabetes Demographics & Dynamics: Addressing the Needs of the 25% of Older Adults With Diabetes
Presenters: Betsy Abramson, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging; Faith Daumler, Aurora BayCare Medical Center; Pam Geis, Chronic Disease Prevention Unit, State of Wisconsin, Division of Public Health; Sherri Ohly, Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
HLWD Brochure
HLWD Fact Sheet
Ordering Free Resources
2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report
2011 Burden of Diabetes in WI Report

E6. 7 Nutritional Habits of Highly-Healthy Seniors
Presenter: Donna Weihofen, UW Hospitals & Clinics (retired)

E7. It’s All in the Messaging: Unlocking Your Program’s Success
Presenter: Stephanie Jung, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin

E8. Better Health Literacy Means Better Health
Presenter: Steven W. Sparks, Health Literacy Wisconsin

2014 ElderAce Award Recipients

On September 12, 2014, the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources presented ElderAce Awards to recognize achievement and commitment to excellence in aging.


Advocacy Award

Esther Olson, Board President, Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
Esther's Nomination


Best Practice Award

Raymond Bohl, Program Assistant, WI Senior Employment Program, GWAAR
Ray's Nomination


Innovation Award

Carrie Esselman, Therapeutic Recreational Specialist, Valley VNA Senior Services
Carrie's Nomination


Leadership Award

Debbie Paavola, Director, Waushara County Department of Aging Services
Debbie's Nomination


Leadership Award

Denise Pommer, Director, Menominee Department of Aging and Long-Term Care
Denise's Nomination


Organizational Excellence Award

Mary Wolf, Director, Lac Courte Oreilles Elderly and Disability Services
Mary's Nomination


Special Service Award

Jane Deau, Director, Merrill Area Community Enrichment Center
Jane's Nomination


2014 Wisconsin Aging Network Conferenceicon-low


Register | Location/Dates | Care Transitions Conference | ElderAce Awards | Exhibitors |
Hotel Accommodations
| Keynote Speakers | Sponsors |
Conference Advisory Committee

Register/Event Program

Register now for the 2014 WI Aging Network Conference! The deadline for conference registration is Thursday, September 4, at 5 p.m. For those paying by check, use this fillable, printable form and mail to UW-La Crosse to the address indicated on the form.

Full Conference: $150
Thursday Only:   $85
Friday Only:       $85

Final Program With Agenda
Registration Program With Agenda

Conference Cancellation Policy

Substitutions are allowed. Full refunds less a $30 processing fee will be given if requested by the end of the day on August 28. No refunds will be made thereafter. Cancellations must be submitted in writing to conted@uwlax.edu.


Our 2014 Wisconsin Aging Network Conference will be held September 10-12, 2014, at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. The theme is Think Big! and conference focus areas will be healthy aging: mind, body, spirit; advocacy; diversity and inclusion in aging; leadership development; and turning challenges into opportunities.

Care Transitions: Community Engagement Conference - Sept. 10

Hosted by the Transitions of Care Statewide Steering Committee, this one-day event being held September 10 at the Kalahari is for professionals interested in information and strategies for developing care transitions partnerships in their communities.

Care Transitions and Aging Network Conference Announcement
More Information and Agenda

ElderAce Awards

Thanks to all who submitted nominations for the 2014 ElderAce Awards. The 2014 award winners will be announced at the Wisconsin Aging Network Conference September 12. We will also announce the winners here after the awards are presented so check back after the conference.

Meet the 2012 ElderAce Award Recipients


Check out the exhibit hall at the conference Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Then check back here for a virtual exhibit hall--to be added shortly after the conference.

  1. 50 Plus Newsmagazine
  2. AAA Wisconsin
  3. AARP Wisconsin
  4. Aging and Disability Professionals Association of Wisconsin
  5. AGIS Network, Inc.
  6. Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care
  7. Alzheimer's Association
  8. Board on Aging and Long-Term Care
  9. Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources
  10. CapTel Captioned Telephone
  11. Consumer Direct Wisconsin
  12. Creative Living Environments, LLC
  13. Foundations Counseling Center, Inc.
  14. Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
  15. GT Independence
  16. Hoglund Bus Co., Inc.
  17. Home Health United
  18. Healthier WI Partnership Program: 100 Healthy, at-Risk Families Project
  19. Humana
  20. IndependenceFirst Mobility Store
  21. J & B Medical Supply
  22. LE Phillips CDC - Corporate Guardianship Program
  23. Liturgical Publications
  24. Lori Knapp Companies
  25. Manitowoc Area Visitor & Convention Bureau
  26. MetaStar (WI Quality Improvement Organization)
  27. Milwaukee County Department on Aging
  28. MinuteMeals Wisconsin LLC
  29. Mom's Meals NourishCare
  30. MySeniorCenter
  31. St. Camillus Home Health Services
  32. TMG ICA - IRIS
  33. USDA Rural Development
  34. Walden University
  35. WI Association of Senior Centers
  36. WI Family Care Association
  37. WI Guardianship Support Center
  38. WI Institute for Healthy Aging
  39. WI Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance
  40. WI Personal Services Association (WPSA)
  41. WI Pooled and Community Trusts (WisPACT)
  42. WI Talking Book and Braille Library
  43. WI Women's Network

Hotel Accommodations

Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
(877) 253-5466

The group rate is $70 for single, $99 for double, and $129 for triple/quad. When calling to make your reservations, please indicate that you want the room rates for the “2014 GWAAR Aging Network Conference” or booking ID 27561. While the room block was released Monday, August 11, the Kalahari will still honor the above rates.

A sleeping room block does not guarantee sleeping rooms will be next to each other. The deposit policy for individual reservations is one night (plus tax) at the time the reservation is made. Cancellation policy for individual reservations: 72 hours or more prior to arrival, to receive full refund less $25.00 processing fee. Less than 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival forfeits entire deposit.

For tax-exempt reservations, an S-211 form is required.

Keynote Speakers

LaRhae Knatterud

LaRhae Knatterud, Director of Aging Transformation with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will break down big-picture thinking into practical steps you can take and apply to the problems we all confront in our work as aging service providers. She will share examples of successful—and not so successful—big-picture thinking and will leave you with valuable tools to help you innovate and think big about aging!

LaRhae's keynote address is made possible with the generous support of the Helen Bader Foundation.

LaRhae Knatterud Announcement

Larry Polivka, Ph.D.

Dr. Larry Polivka, Executive Director of The Claude Pepper Center and Scholar-in-Residence with The Claude Pepper Foundation, Inc., will discuss the relationship between aging programs and health and long-term care systems and how aging programs should position themselves for the future.

Dr. Polivka’s keynote address is made possible with the generous support of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging.

Dr. Polivka Announcement


Platinum Sponsors

dhsweblogo                                  platinum-humana-logo
WI Department of Health Services                                          
Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources


Gold Sponsors

ADPAWlogo Layout1    gold-hbf logo horizontal   gold-W4A-logo

gold-WAND-logo2         gold-WASC-logo  

Silver Sponsors

AARP-Logo     Bronze-Dane-County-Color-Logo

Conference Advisory Committee

Conference Planner: Anne Rodgers-Rhyme
Conference Advisory Committee Members:

  • Betsy Abramson, WI Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA)
  • Jonette Arms, Milwaukee County Department on Aging
  • Cheryl Batterman, Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
  • Sarah Cowen, GWAAR - Operations Coordinator
  • Marcia Hendrickson, WI Association of Senior Centers (WASC) / South Madison Coalition of the Elderly
  • Wendell Holt, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC)
  • Julie Juranek, WI Association of Benefit Specialists (WABS) / Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Bob Kellerman, GWAAR - Executive Director
  • Sara Koenig, WI Department of Health Services, Division of Long-Term Care, Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources, Office on Aging
  • Kris Krasnowski, GWAAR - Communications Coordinator
  • Mike Lew, GWAAR Board Member
  • Neal Minogue, WI Department of Health Services, Division of Long-Term Care, Office for Resource Center Development (ORCD)
  • Deb Mould, GWAAR - Fiscal Manager
  • Alice Page, WI Department of Health Services, Division of Long-Term Care, Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources, Office on Aging
  • Michelle Pike, Aging and Disability Professionals Association of Wisconsin (ADPAW) / ADRC of Ozaukee County
  • Anne Prince, WI Association of Nutrition Directors (WAND) / Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Sarah Quale, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC)
  • John Schnabl, GWAAR - Older Americans Act Programs and Special Projects Manager
  • Va Thao, GWAAR Advisory Council / La Crosse County Aging Office