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Culture Change Througout Aging Services




New Policy Brief on Supporting Direct Care Workers in Caring for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals

(Source:  The Gazette, A product of the Consumer Voice and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, November 2010)

A new policy brief by the Direct Care Alliance provides an overview of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elder issues within the long-term care system, expresses the need to provide direct care workers with training and support in order to improve the quality of care for LGBT elders and offers tools and resources to their improve services.  The brief states the aging process is particularly difficult for LGBT elders due to unique barriers they face such as social stigma, the fact that their chosen family may not be legally recognized and the lack of supportive laws and programs.


Historically, there has been a lack of services available for LGBT services and a scarcity of data available regarding the LGBT elder community. One study including 24 federally funded Area Agencies on Aging found “nearly 1 out of 2 respondents (46%) reporting that openly LGBT seniors would not be welcome at senior centers in their areas” and “96% of them offered no LGBT-specific services.” Due to a lack of available services and support, LGBT elders may become more isolated and suffer greater health risks.


According to the brief, “the landscape for LGBT care has begun to change,” and progress has been made to improve access to services for LGBT elders, but more data is needed to assess their needs, dispel myths and prejudices and improve their quality of care. The brief argues that direct care workers as an “under-acknowledged and under-resourced” group have an “inherent solidarity” with the “under-acknowledged and under-resourced LGBT clients” and could be strong advocates for LGBT elders, especially when they receive quality training and support. 


The brief also includes recommendations for improving service to LGBT elders and a chart reflecting laws that affect the LGBT community. According to the chart only three states (Illinois, New Mexico and Washington) have enacted non-discrimination laws for age, sexual orientation and gender identity and non-discrimination policies for age, sexual orientation and gender identity within their state agency for aging services.  Source: Direct Care Alliance, Inc.


HIV/AIDS and Aging

(Source:  Deborah Cooke, Linked In)

I hope you will be able to access the link. Sept 18th was National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day. When discussing culture change, we should not forget some of the "sub" populations. How does our current system treat those with HIV/AIDS? How do those with the disease feel the system treats them? What can we do to create change for them?

I've learned a lot about this population, as well as the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. It's quite appalling how society as a whole perceives them and they perceive us. Think about it and share any thoughts and ideas on how we can make change happen!

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is September 18, 2010 globalaging.org   The entry page to Global Action on Aging's Web site. Find up to date information on the aging population around the World as well as the United States.  LINK TO POST