Most people find thinking about mortality to be disconcerting. Moreover aging, the inexorable process leading to our inevitable demise, is typically no less of a sober conversational gambit. And yet … at the rate of one second per second we’re all aging, we’re all heading towards an end, we know it’s going to happen, and when asked we have very strong opinions on what we’d like when it does. In a recent survey conducted by The Economist in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, representative samples of people in four large countries - America, Brazil, Italy, and Japan - were asked a set of questions about dying and end-of-life care. In all four countries the majority of people said they hoped to die at home, although far fewer actually expect to be able to do so. The gap between what people hope for with regards to aging and death, and what they get is stark and deeply human in it’s complexity. The full Economist summary of findings can be found here.
Aging Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), as the country's largest and oldest organization devoted to improving the lives of LGBT older adults, recognized this as an especially acute issue for LGBT individuals. Many members of this community do not have children to care for them as they age or families that may support them fully. Indeed, too many members of the LGBT community will go through different stages of their lives without some measure of support that only someone of another generation could provide.
SAGE Table represents a unique effort from SAGE and AARP to cut across age boundaries in a positive and profound way. To simply sharing a meal across generations to enable conversations that many of have never had before. Moreover, as connections among LGBT people of all ages are built, community ties are strengthened and new traditions are born.
At interstitio we’re proud supporters of this effort, and friends and collaborators to SAGE. We’ve worked with them to apply our unique analytic approach to surface some of their core assumptions related to this initiative, we have built and are in the process of executing bespoke assessment and evaluation tools, and have designed interventions to improve the actual SAGE Table experience.
So, congratulations to everyone who participates in SAGE Table today - you’re taking the first steps on a profoundly important journey, and we couldn’t be more humbled and honored to be walking right alongside you all. To follow along with SAGE Table events as they occur throughout the day, follow #SAGETable on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!