WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBTQ+ people, unveiled a first-of-its-kind consumer guide for LGBTQ+ elders to find safe, affirming long-term care communities. This guide, an extension of the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI), aims to inform aging members of the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones what questions they should ask and what they should look for when they begin the process of selecting a long-term care community that is right for them or a loved one.
“We all deserve to feel safe and have our needs met when seeking care. A long-term care community’s dedication to LGBTQ+ inclusivity must be rooted in inclusive policies and practices and this guide gives consumers the tools they need to ask the right questions,” said Jay Brown, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training. “This resource is rooted in research and a dedicated partnership between the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and SAGE.”
“We hear far too many stories about LGBTQ+ elders who face discrimination and mistreatment in long-term care. An important part of the solution is giving elders the information they need to make their best possible choices when looking at long-term care options,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “This guide will empower older LGBTQ+ people to make choices that will allow them to be their authentic selves at whatever long-term care community they choose.”
Access to LGBTQ+ affirming long-term care communities is an issue that will grow in importance as more out LGBTQ+ elders seek support. To help combat this issue, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and SAGE developed the Long-Term Care Equality Index. The LEI sets the first national standards for inclusive LGBTQ+ policies and practices for senior housing and residential long-term care communities. The LEI team supports participating communities through a self-assessment process, a comprehensive LEI resource guide of best practices and educational presentations.
The consumer guide is a comprehensive resource containing information on questions LGBTQ+ individuals should ask when searching for a long-term care community. Topics covered include LGBTQ+-welcoming policies, practices, and environments. Additionally, the guide includes a variety of examples and resources to assist in the search for an LGBTQ+ inclusive facility. At its core, the guide aims to both inform and ease the process of identifying inclusive long-term care for aging members of the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones.
For more information about HRC and SAGE’s Long-Term Care Equality Index, please visit thelei.org.
SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ+ older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ+ community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at sageusa.org.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.