The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched an online training “tool” to teach caregivers of older patients living in long-term facilities about the “issues” and “needs” of older homosexual people.
ACL states in its release:
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.
Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control report that men who are gay, bisexual, or other men having sex with men make up about two percent of the U.S. population.
ACL reports, “…many older LGBT adults do not feel safe discussing their sexuality in LTC [long-term care] 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,” notes Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging and administrator of ACL.
The website states, “…this tool is a first step in learning about how to create safe, welcoming and inclusive services for LGBT older adults.” The “tool” is divided into six training modules, each approximately 10 minutes in length.
According to ACL, after completion of the LGBT training modules, trainees should be able 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.
According to the “tool’s” website, it was developed with support from SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, which was created through a grant from HHS and describes itself as “the country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender older adults.”
In addition, the LGBT tool was supported by FORGE Transgender Aging Network, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Rose Villa, and the Methodist Home of D.C.