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Resident & Community Engagement Resources

This section includes one set of criteria to help long-term care communities ensure that 1) LGBTQ residents are connected to the larger LGBTQ community and 2) that the long-term care community builds relationships with the larger LGBTQ community.

Developing mutually-respectful relationships is a key component to building strong, long-lasting culture change that supports LGBTQ residents within their long-term care communities. It creates a bridge for two-way information- sharing and education, provide openings for programmatic partnerships, resource sharing opportunities and more. Furthermore, it helps establish a long-term care community as one that is inclusive and well-respected within the larger community, attracting LGBTQ employees and residents in the future.

Understanding the Needs of LGBTQ Patients and Community

Does your resident climate survey include a way for residents to disclose their sexual orientation and/or gender identity along with other demographic questions such as race and gender?

It’s important for long-term care communities to continually gather information about their residents such as sexual orientation and gender identity. 

For example:

Woodland Pond at New Paltz Resident Council survey for residents.

In what ways does your community make efforts to gather information about the needs of LGBTQ residents and potential residents?

Long-term care communities can gather information on LGBTQ resident perspectives using a variety of methods, including reviewing reports and research conducted in the field, conducting their own surveys, conducting focus groups, connecting with local LGBTQ groups for additional insight, and more. 

Following are some examples of the specific ways in which long-term care communities are gathering this information.

Resources:

Most states have a state-based LGBTQ advocacy organization that works to address the needs of LGBTQ people. See the listing of Equality Federation member organizations to find an organization in your state.

Visit the CenterLink Directory of LGBTQ Community Centers to find a community center in your area that you can meet with.

You can also reach out to your local PFLAG Chapter to discuss LGBTQ-related concerns.

For example:

Fenway Health hosted this workshop to discuss the health and wellness needs of Boston area cisgender women, transgender women, and gender-diverse individuals who were assigned female at birth. 

UC Davis Medical Center conducted interviews and presented their LGBTQ+ Wellbeing findings at a Reducing Health Disparities Community Forum.

Does your community connect residents to local LGBTQ community organizations if they so wish?

Older LGBTQ people are prone to loneliness and may feel especially isolated when no longer connected to someone from their same background and community. For some individuals, staying connected to the LGBTQ community at large (locally, regionally, nationally) is crucial for over all wellness. Ensure your community has the means to connect your residents with a local LGBTQ group (e.g. LGBTQ social group, LGBTQ affirming house of worship)

LGBTQ Community Engagement and Marketing

Has your community participated in or supported one or more external LGBTQ-related events or initiatives in your service area?

Long-term care communities across the country participate in or sponsor their local Pride celebrations. There are also a wide variety of other types of LGBTQ events or initiatives that facilities can participate in or sponsor. Some of the most common ones include hosting an LGBTQ health fair, movie night, speaker, health panel, symposium, HIV testing, and more.

In example:

Woodland Pond Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month with Educational Activities

Does your community engage in marketing or advertising to the LGBTQ community?

In many instances, hospitals advertise in local newspapers and magazines to promote their services, their HEI Leader status and to target the LGBTQ consumer. This is a great way to let the LGBTQ community know what services your facility provides while also reaching the LGBTQ consumer who is in the process of choosing where to receive their healthcare. Ad campaigns and marketing can further a message of a hospital’s values around LGBTQ inclusion. Increasingly, ads with authentic images of LGBTQ people are featured in both LGBTQ media outlets and the general press alike.

Resources:

Check out this article entitled "Companies With LGBTQ-Inclusive Ads Can Increase Sales By 40%, And Here's Why."

For example:

Ingleside Community advertisement in Washington DC's Blade

Has your community publicly supported LGBTQ equality under the law by advocating for or against legislation or regulations at the local, state, or federal level that impact LGBTQ equality?

It is important that communities and healthcare providers use their platform as both service provider and employer to advocate for their LGBTQ patients and employees and the policies that will protect them.

For example:

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center created this document to encourage grassroots action on the harmful Better Care Reconciliation Act 2017.

The CEO of Twin Cities Community Hospital wrote this op-ed on supporting LGBTQ troops.

RWJBarnabas Health submitted this letter to Members of the Senate Commerce Committee illustrating their support for bills that would prohibit certain insurance companies from discriminating in coverage and services based on gender identity.