The Commitment to Caring Pledge is the first step to participating in the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI). The LEI is a biennial survey. The survey will be conducted in even years and the report published in the odd years. View the LEI 2023 Report at hrc.org/lei.
Leadership at eligible residential long-term care facilities and senior housing providers are invited to sign the pledge as an indication of their intention to adopt the LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices necessary to provide culturally competent and responsive care to LGBTQ+ older adults.
The 2023 LEI Survey Cycle is now closed. We encourage communities interested in growing their LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts to sign the commitment to caring pledge to receive access to webinars, technical assistance, a self-assessment, and resources. The next LEI Survey will open in 2024.
Experts predict that as many as 4.7 million older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) older adults may need supportive care and services by the year 2030. While LGBTQ+ adults confront the same issues everyone else does when choosing aging services -- where to live, how to afford rising costs of housing and healthcare, and how to stay with loved ones -- the reality of life in long-term care for LGBTQ+ people can be drastically different from their non-LGBTQ+ peers. Stigmatization, lack of identity-affirming treatment and experiences of discrimination and violence can lead to avoiding necessary services, chronic stress and increased social isolation among LGBTQ+ older adults. Additionally, approximately 20 percent of LGBTQ+ older adults are people of color who as a group face increased health disparities, higher levels of stigma and have experienced more LGBTQ+ related discrimination than their white counterparts, leaving them more at risk of not seeking or receiving the services they need.
A recent national survey of LGBTQ+ older adults by AARP found that more than 60 percent of those surveyed were concerned about how they would be treated in a long-term care setting, including fear that they might be refused or receive limited care; be in danger of neglect or abuse; or face verbal or physical harassment. The same survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents would be more comfortable if long-term care communities took actions to intentionally affirm LGBTQ+ adults.
SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older people, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF), the educational arm of the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ+ people, are joining forces to launch the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI) to promote equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ older people in residential long-term care communities.
SAGE and HRC Foundation believe that most long-term care communities do not want LGBTQ+ older adults to face discrimination or have to worry about the care that they will receive. But these communities may be unsure how to protect their LGBTQ+ residents from discrimination, provide them with optimal care and extend a warm welcome to allay their concerns. The LEI will encourage and help long-term care communities to adopt policies and practices that provide culturally competent and responsive care to LGBTQ+older adults.
The housing providers* that are eligible to participate include:
*Your community must be open and actively housing residents. If your community has not yet opened its doors, you cannot participate in the LEI 2023 survey year.
*The LEI is limited to long-term care and senior housing communities in the United States and its Territories
Upon signing, you will receive a confidential self-assessment, access to the LEI survey criteria resource guide, and access to the LEI survey to be released in August 2022.