U.S. Administration for Community Living
Department of Health and Human Services Contact: ACL Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Resource broadens understanding of challenges facing older LBGT adults
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) is proud to announce the release of an online learning tool: Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults. The tool is designed to increase awareness of the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals living in long term care (LTC) facilities.
There are approximately 1.5 million adults over the age of 65 who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. By 2030, those estimates are expected to rise to nearly 3 million. Estimates indicate that there are hundreds of thousands of older adults who are transgender.
Unfortunately, research shows many older LGBT adults do not feel safe discussing their sexuality in LTC facilities. "As people who work with seniors every day, it's our job to ensure that everyone has the same protections and rights as their neighbors, friends and families," noted Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging and administrator of ACL.
"This training tool will play an important role in educating a wide audience of care providers about the needs of LGBT seniors. It can help improve the quality of care given to this vulnerable population,” said Hilary Meyer, director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. “Helping to create a more welcoming environment for our LGBT populations will benefit everybody."
This resource is available online through the National LGBT Resource Center. Each of the six training modules includes video testimonials, quizzes, and helpful information on how to make LTC more inclusive for older LGBT adults. Each module lasts approximately 10 minutes and can be viewed over multiple sittings.
After completion of the online training, program participants will be prepared to:
- Increase visibility of the issues facing LGBT individuals in LTC facilities.
- Provide easy access to information on serving LGBT individuals in LTC facilities.
- Encourage LTC facilities to provide opportunities for staff to take the online training.
- Change the way individuals and facilities approach older LGBT adults.
The Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults tool was developed in collaboration with the HHS Office of Public Affairs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the National LGBT Resource Center, with input from aging and LGBT advocates.
Additional information about ACL is available at www.acl.gov. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to older LGBT adults. To learn more, visit http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/index.cfm.