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Helping the Aging

PPD employees lend a hand to connect the elderly to needed services.

SAGE Raleigh, a branch of the national advocacy and services organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) elders, in partnership with the LGBT Center of Raleigh, and Resources for Seniors hosted the first Triangle EXPO for LGBTQ Aging Adults this summer to connect LGTBQ adults with resources.

One of our most vulnerable populations, the elderly are at a greater risk for falling victim to fraudulent schemes. They often rely on others for transportation or understanding resources, and might live on a fixed income.

LGBTQ individuals face additional hurdles that make their aging especially challenging. They are at a higher risk of mental health issues and disabilities, and at higher rates of disease and physical limitations than their heterosexual counterparts.

“Often LGBTQ individuals say they are concerned about revealing their LGBTQ status for fear that might impact their level of service or care,” said Joe Wheeler, event organizer. “EXPO attendees expressed how comforting it was to know that all sponsors and exhibitors participating strongly support LGBTQ individuals.”

Colleagues in PPD’s Morrisville, North Carolina, location supported PPD’s purpose of improving health by volunteering at the event to help connect aging LGBTQ seniors with wellness and social resources. PPD’s office of philanthropy and community affairs works with community affairs committees at each of the company’s locations to identify sustainable nonprofit organizations that help create healthy and thriving communities.

PPD’s Morrisville office supported the LGBT Center in 2017 with a donation that resulted in being earmarked for the Triangle EXPO. To continue its support, the office organized a group of volunteers to set up booths for exhibitors and made a point to visit many of them.

“Having assisted with many elderly relatives, it is great to know there are a variety of resources and services for the elderly; however, they cannot benefit if they are not aware of them,” said Brandon Rasberry, senior clinical research associate II. “Attending this event allowed me to learn of the various services offered so that I can hopefully be a resource and share with others.”

Exhibitors included retirement communities and housing, legal representatives, health care and volunteer organizations to help attendees. Breakout sessions throughout the day explored topics such as financial planning, Medicare, helping caregivers understand specific concerns, and HIV treatment.

“For me this event demonstrated PPD’s commitment to inclusivity and that we are One PPD,” said Michael Friedman, associate director of medical writing.

“I was very honored and proud to be able to show my support for aging LGBTQ, no matter how small of a role I played,” said Ana Gil Del Villar, consultant nurse. “The LGBTQ community needs our support, care and protection. The aging population in all types of communities is one of most vulnerable.”

Many PPD offices have a committee of volunteers who help determine what local organizations to support with their dollars and time. Michael Wilson, associate manager in clinical management, is a member of the Morrisville committee and organized the PPD volunteer efforts.

“I was proud to see PPD provide a way for employees to support the LGBTQ community,” Michael said. As a volunteer at the LGBTQ Center of Raleigh for four years and a founder of its ReachOUT NC Program, Michael was excited to see the EXPO come to fruition, and for PPD to play a role in its success.

PPD invests our volunteering and funding resources into organizations that lead the way in contributing to develop healthier and thriving communities. Join us in making a difference, at and outside of work, at www.ppd.com/careers.