This week California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating that 5 hours of LGBT cultural competency training be integrated into the training received by residential care facility administrators before they can be certified. The bill was Assembly Bill 663, authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez.
FORGE has made available two free, on-demand webinars that may be of interest to those interested in LGBT aging issues.
“Transgender 101 for LGBT Aging Professionals” introduces transgender concepts and helps professionals identify how these concepts may impact service provision. It’s available at
“How Obama is Changing Growing Old LGBT” is now a little dated — it amazes this 55-year-old LGBT aging advocate just how quickly federal policy is changing — as it was prepared in November 2011. Nevertheless, this is a good introduction to some of the major changes that are affecting LGBT older adults and the profesionals who serve them. It’s available at
Wondering what the federal government has done for the LGBT community lately? A good place to start getting answers is an 11-page-long report that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published last month, available at http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/lgbthealth_objectives_2012.html
The report goes over nine 2012 objectives. Those most relevant to LGBT aging issues include:
- Releasing a report that “identifies the gaps and oppportunities in its portfolio in light of the recommendations that the Institute of Medicine made in its 2011 report entitled, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.“
- Funding five pilot studies to reduce obesity in lesbian and bisexual women.
- With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assessing the impact of new chronic disease prevention programs on LGBT populations;
- Conducting a comprehensive review of LGBT cultural competency training curricula and improving training for programs delivering integrated health services to LGBT clients; and
- Through a partnership between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration for Community Living, “release a training video to educate long-term care ombudsmen, surveyors, healthcare providers, and state and local government officials about LGBT older Americans, the impacts of the social stigma on this community, and the rights of consumers in nursing homes, hospice, and health care. The video will highlight best practices, identify resources to support LGBT older adults, and give instruction on what to do if one becomes aware of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, CMS will clarify its rules governing nursing home visitation rights, which are already in place and apply equally to those with same-sex domestic partners.”
The report also notes that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Administration on Aging has issued five grants focused on improving behavioral health services and on suicide prevention among older people. Two of theswe grants — to the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and the Montrose Counseling Center in Houston — specifically target LGBT seniors.
“If you built a[n aging services] business on core values of quality of life, choice, dignity, etc., you have a responsibility to maintain those values no matter who the person is — Christian or Muslim or Hindu or straight or gay.”
So USA Today quoted Jamison Gosselin, spokesman for the Assisted Living Federation of America, in a June 30, 2012, article entitled, “Gay senior centers growing in numbers around the nation” and available at http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-30/gay-senior-centers/55946066/1 The somewhat misleadingly titled article does discuss the new LGBT senior centers opened by SAGE (New York) and the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, but also mentions new housing being built by the Chicao Center on Halstead and outreach work being done by Oklahomans for Equality.
The Hospice Foundation of America, with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has produced a free, online, 30-minute training on LGBT issues for hospice workers.
It, along with a list of related resources and a link for people who want to execute important end-of-life documents, is available at http://www.hospicefoundation.org/hic-lgbt