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What to Look For in LGBTQIA-Friendly Senior Communities

Brightview West End Pride

Knowing that LGBTQIA+ seniors face different challenges as they age, finding supportive senior services is extremely important. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, in partnership with SAGE, a national advocacy organization for LGBTQIA+ seniors, has created the country’s first Long-Term Care Equality Index. According to their website, “this national benchmarking tool evaluates long-term care communities based on the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQIA residents and patients.”

As evidenced by this index, there is a desire to find senior care options that welcome and support LGBTQIA+ individuals. For more information about the Long-Term Care Equality Index, click here.

This index is just one tool to help families searching for LGBTQIA-friendly senior care options for their loved ones. Here are a few suggestions and questions to ask during your search.

Do you have a written inclusion statement?

In your discovery phase of looking at senior living communities, check their website or mailed materials for a strong written inclusion statement. If you visit a community, see how inclusivity plays out in practice in real life. Are intake or interview forms using inclusive language? Also, how does this inclusion statement affect associates in the community? Are they protected from discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity?

How are your staff trained to help LGBTQIA+ seniors?

Talk to the communities about any LGBTQIA+-specific trainings they offer. Have their caregivers walked through situational examples or sample conversations that reflect the needs of LGBTQIA+ residents? Taking these proactive measures helps inform the entire team of appropriate language and behaviors that make all feel welcome.

Is the community open to suggestions for more diverse events and programs?

How much input do residents have in the community’s calendar of events, activities, and programs? Can you recommend partnerships with other local organizations? Does the community already offer events that highlight observances like Black History Month and Pride Month? Inclusive communities will work with residents to offer a schedule of activities that make all residents feel welcomed and included.

The senior living and long-term care industries learn more about being inclusive and celebratory of LGBTQIA+ seniors every day. We hope this information can be a starting point for more caregivers and loved ones to better support LGBTQIA+ individuals in their lives.

At Brightview Senior Living, our goal is for all residents, associates, and visitors to our communities to feel welcome and free to be their authentic selves.

Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent LivingAssisted LivingEnhanced Care, and Wellspring Village, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.


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