Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Long-term Care Facilities and LGBT Adults

One of the first examinations of the LGBT experience with long-term care has resulted in a report called LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field. The report looks at an online survey conducted from October 2009 through June 2010 of 769 individuals, 284 of whom identified themselves as LGBT. Other respondents included friends and family of LGBT, service providers, and legal service providers.

The survey did not include a statistically representative sample. Rather it gathered hundreds of personal comments and stories about fears, expectations, incidents, mistreatment, and issues faced by LGBT older adults in long-term care facilities.

The survey and report were produced by a collaborative including the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Services and Advocacy for GBLT Elders (SAGE).

The report includes recommendations for policymakers and best practice suggestions for long-term care providers. Many of the stories in the report illustrate how being open about sexual orientation and sexual identity can be very frightening for LGBT adults in long-term care. Fears of discrimination, harassment, denial of care, or abuse or neglect highlighted by the respondents also point to a need for training our long-term workforce in LGBT cultural competence.

The entire report, as well as video stories, key findings and recommendations, are available at www.lgbtlongtermcare.org.

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