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New assessment to look at senior care facilities for LGBTQ people

(Photo courtesy of SAGE)

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and SAGE announced Monday that they were working together on an assessment on senior care facilities serving older LGBTQ people.

The HRC said in a press release that they two organizations would be working on the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI), a nationwide assessment of how long-term care facilities are treating their LGBTQ residents. The new survey will build on the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), which scores healthcare facilities on policies and practices ensuring the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees.

“All too often, LGBTQ elders do not receive the care and support they deserve,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “With experts predicting that as many as 4.7 million LGBTQ elders will be seeking care and services by the year 2030, the time to act is now. It is incumbent on us to ensure that all LGBTQ elders are treated with dignity and respect, and HRC is proud to join with SAGE in this historic effort to fundamentally improve the experiences of LGBTQ older adults as they seek long-term care and services.”

“It’s time to end the tragedy of LGBTQ elders being forced back into the closet because of discrimination and mistreatment in care settings,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “That’s what the Long-Term Care Equality Index is all about and why SAGE is excited to join forces with HRC on this critically important effort. It will be an essential complement to the cultural competency training that SAGE provides across the country.”  

The press release said that a national survey of LGBTQ older adults in long-term care facilities found that:

  • Only 22 percent of respondents felt they could be open about their LGBTQ identities with facility staff;
  • Eighty-nine percent predicted that staff would discriminate based on their sexual orientations and/or gender identities, and;
  • Forty-three percent reported instances of mistreatment.
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