On 24 May 2017 the RIAS, together with several local partners (Middelburg City Council, Roosevelt Foundation, and University College Roosevelt), held an international policy workshop on the subject of LGBTQ elderly care.

The workshop included participants from the Netherlands and the United States, and was dedicated to exploring best practices in the care for seniors who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Over the past few years, a plurality of independent studies and government surveys have shown that LGBTQ senior citizens are a particularly vulnerable group; any have struggled with issues of identity and social stigma throughout their lives, and risk going back ‘into the closet’ as they become dependent on care.

The workshop attempted to foster an exchange of ideas between experts and practioners in the fields of LGBTQ rights and health- and elderly care on both sides of the Atlantic. It will feature presentations by Dr. Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, Director of the Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence at the University of Washington, Aaron Tax, Director of Advocacy for SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders), and Eveline van de Putte, author of Stormachtig Stil, Levensverhalen van Roze Ouderen. During the ensuing brainstormking session, the speakers explored best practices in the Netherlands and the United States, together with a range of participants, from policy-makers in local government to care practitioners and LGBTQ advocates.