Chef Nate Turner will demonstrate healthier ways of food preparation for LGBTQ seniors. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

With information on nutrition, exercise, mental health and social gatherings, the Taking Pride in Healthy Living virtual event will take place on June 17 at 6 p.m. Geared towards LGBTQ elders, but open to all members of the LGBTQ community and allies, this seminar will feature several nutrition specialists, health experts and fitness instructors. This online gathering will be facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Association and emceed by one of their volunteers, Frank Summers.

“LGBTQ people have a higher incidence of cognitive decline,” Summers explains. “We’re finding that more and more members of the LGBTQ community have specific health needs. So, as we get older, we want to take control of our diet and situation.” Over the course of an hour-and-a-half, this workshop will include [multiple] five to ten minute demonstrations by several members of the community.

Dr. Rhett Brown, a physician at Novant Health, will explain the challenges faced by LGBTQ-identified individuals that cisgender/heterosexual people are impacted by far less often. On behalf of Joy Fitness, Mara Burdick will be engaging viewers in a fitness demonstration. She is one of few North Carolina trainers who started offering virtual workout sessions over the course of COVID-19.

From Charlotte LGBT Elders and CareWeavers, both organizations that center around the aging queer community, comes Registered Nurse and Board Certified Patients Advocate Carol Hostetler, who has a Masters degree in Science and Nursing. She’ll be speaking about the importance of regular social activity. Summers also stresses, “COVID-19 has shown us that we miss being around people. We’re all excited to get together with family and friends again, but the thing to remember is that socializing is also very good for your health.”

To round out Taking Pride in Healthy Living, Chef Nate Turner, a well-known member of the LGBTQ community, will be doing a “how-to” on cooking for a small number of people and demonstrating ways to incorporate healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, while retaining vibrancy and taste.

One major thing Summers hopes participants take away from the session is that there are resources everywhere. Five or so LGBTQ-specific groups will be present from all over North Carolina with involvement opportunities. These include SAGE Raleigh as well as organizations from Wilmington and Asheville. Summers emphasizes, “Being older is a phase of life that can be full and rewarding and energetic and that starts with everyone getting involved.’

Additional information on this event is available at

To register for Taking Pride in Healthy Living, go to

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