This article was published on May 22nd, 2017
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is known as the holocaust of the gay community. An entire generation was impacted by the fatal infection, but some of those infected still live today and are struggling with growing healthcare and financial concerns. Those who have survived and lived to tell the tale need to plan now. Not only for retirement and senior living, but also for hospice and palliative care. Senior living is delicate and is easier to do with the help of professionals. Seniors living with HIV / AIDS need healthcare options and help, and here are five tips on where to find it:
- Get financial advice. Seniors are often retirees living off retirement, pensions, disability, or social security. Knowing what your expenses allow for you to afford based off your income is a great first step to knowing what your options are for health and in home care in the future.
- Talk to a specialist/healthcare counselor. Those living and working in the healthcare industry are better suited than the average Joe at being able to tell you what options you have for healthcare. Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare are all different programs that you’ll want advice with from a health professional.
- Consider government assistance. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to and obtaining financial aid from the government. There are dozens of programs specifically aimed at those living with HIV/AIDS and government assisted aid can mean the difference in healthcare providers and living arrangement options. Programs like Ryan White, ADAP, and OAHIPP in the US were designed to assist those with lower incomes living with HIV/AIDS.
- Talk to a therapist. Your healthcare consultant can give you information about proper counseling and a registered therapist can ease anxiety and the mental stress associated with dealing with healthcare concerns.
- You are not alone. The younger generation has got your back. Without your generation having faced and dealt with the AIDS crisis head on, the generations now able to live with HIV, get PrEP, and live healthy lives, would never have been able to do so. Your sacrifices and concerns are the concerns of the entire gay community. You are our founding fathers of the modern gay rights movement and will not be left behind.
HIV/AIDS might have been a death sentence in the 80s and 90s, but today, it is a very livable disease, even for those whose bodies have been put through the ringer ever since contracting the virus. Those living with HIV/AIDS are projected to live as long and as healthy lives as normal people, and life expectancy can reach the 80s or higher. So, don’t fret. Growing healthcare issues are an inevitable part of all our lives. And you don’t have to face them alone.