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Robert Espinoza
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Robert Espinoza is the Vice President of Policy at PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), the nation's leading authority on the direct-care workforce. Prior to PHI, for five years he served as the Senior Director for Public Policy and Communications at SAGE, the country’s premiere national organization advocating for LGBT older people. A long-time policy advocate, researcher and writer, Robert's writing has appeared in Aging Today, Tikkun Magazine, Generations and Public Policy & Aging Report, among others. He currently serves on advisory boards for StoryCorps; the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Aging Today, the national newspaper for the American Society on Aging.

Entries by Robert Espinoza

6 Key Facts Everyone Should Know About the Federal Court Case for Home Care Workers

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 1:24 PM


This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments on whether the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to workers who provide home care assistance to elders and people with disabilities. This...

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Growing Older and Facing Loss as LGBT People: A Question of Care

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 9:39 AM

When writing about aging among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, reporters typically invoke one of two narratives. The first involves an older same-sex couple, congenial and photogenic, seemingly monogamous and coupled for decades, denied only the legal right to marry. The second narrative depicts an isolated, frail older...

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New National Study: Five Things You Should Know About Aging and LGBT People

(3) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 12:04 PM

Much has been written about the growing number of older people in this country (as the baby boom generation rapidly ages), as well as the incremental shift in favorable policies and attitudes toward certain segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population. However, less public attention has...

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HIV, Aging and LGBT people: A Metamorphosis

(14) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 9:23 AM

On April 3, 2008, my longtime friend Don (last name withheld) tested positive for HIV, the same day as his mother's 56th birthday. He remembers the day vividly. "I had given blood to my doctor and a couple weeks later, I still hadn't received a call. I called my doctor's...

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Elder Abuse and Older Americans Month: A Tribute to My Immigrant Mother

(7) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 10:07 AM

First they threw popcorn at her in the cafeteria. They mocked her accent and limited English. They probed her for Spanish translations of curse words to fling back. They filed bogus complaints to intimidate her into believing she would be forced out of the nursing home. Two months prior, two...

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The Growing, Neglected Challenges of LGBT Latino Elders

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Latino elders who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) face additional challenges as they age, compounded by barriers rooted in their racial and ethnic identities, as well as LGBT stigma and discrimination. Yet the attention and infrastructure to ameliorate these conditions is generally lacking. That's the overarching conclusion...

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LGBT People: Our Longing for Home, Our Right to Housing

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 6:32 PM

There are mornings when the hour-long commute to work feels Odyssean. Today is one of those mornings. February has unfurled a litany of winter storms that have left New York City awash in slush and my Facebook feed soaked in bemoaning. As I trudge through Brooklyn and board the D...

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The Unmeasured LGBT Life

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 5:31 PM

I spent the summer of 2012 homebound, recovering alone in my 400-square-foot studio apartment in Brooklyn. A serious accident on Memorial Day led to ankle surgery, 12 weeks on crutches and the final stretch of August re-learning to walk. When you live alone and are relatively immobile, the days are...

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'Coming Out' or 'Letting In'? Recasting the LGBT Narrative

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 9:00 AM

I came out as gay at age 20, first to my parents, who pushed me into therapy, and then to my sister, who was so unsurprised that she yawned for five grueling minutes. I came out over time to friends, family members and co-workers, and the response was generally the...

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Open Letter to Health Reform Advocates: Pay Attention to Discrimination

(4) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 7:49 PM

The harms inflicted by discrimination reveal themselves in our bodies as we age -- as people of color, as poor and low-income people, and as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The symptoms manifest as higher rates of high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, depression, social isolation...

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LGBT People: Let's Talk About Ageism

(49) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 5:06 PM

In a recent op-ed in The Advocate (“In Defense of Aging”), screenwriter and author Jon Bernstein explores how gay men understand their own aging, given their traumatic life experiences and the cultural obsession with beauty and youth. Bernstein invokes Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, a grim...

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LGBT Elders: Poverty's Challenges Worsen With Age

(15) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 1:58 PM

At 81, George Stewart has been a longtime advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people in New York City. He's a former Army clerk and U.S. Air Force court reporter, and last summer he was selected by the White House as one of six Champions...

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Health Equity for Older LGBT People of Color

(6) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 1:31 PM

Helena Bushong is 60, transgender and living with HIV/AIDS. In 2002 she was dually diagnosed with HIV and AIDS and given six months to live. Ty Martin is an aging advocate who leads a support group for older gay black men with HIV/AIDS in the historic Harlem neighborhood of...

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Integrating LGBT Older Adults Into the Older Americans Act

(7) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 11:59 AM

An older gay man in Texas is taken from his partner of 22 years by his own children, transferred to a nursing facility in St. Louis, and rendered anonymous so that his partner can never locate him. In North Carolina, a transgender older woman loses her retirement savings...

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Are We Doing Enough for Marginalized Elder Populations?

(6) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 5:15 PM

This Wednesday, seven organizations known as the Diverse Elders Coalition will hold a Congressional briefing to discuss the policy implications of America's aging boom. As millions enter retirement age in the next few decades and as this country becomes increasingly more diverse, the number of older people who...

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