Living Proud in Assisted Living

lgbt assisted living

Seniors throughout the country celebrated Pride Month in June, and assisted living communities and senior care centers throughout the country celebrated alongside them. As a generation of LGBTQ adults become seniors, dramatic strides have been taken to create communities that are equal and welcoming.

Unique Challenges

LGBTQ seniors have experienced unique challenges when trying to find care and living environments that are warm and accepting. Currently, the Census estimates that 5% of the 65-and-older population of LGBTQ seniors lives in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It’s anticipated that, by 2030, the last of the Baby Boomers will be over 65 and increase those figures. As openly LGBTQ seniors age, and they are more likely to be single or without adult children based on NIH research, nursing homes need to be prepared.
One survey by Justice in Aging found that only half of senior-age LGBTQ adults in long-term care felt comfortable being open about their orientation. Another study in 2011 from the National Senior Citizens Law Center found that almost 50% of older LGBTQ adults had been abused or witnessed abuse including separation from a same-sex spouse, eviction or refusal of admittance due to gender identity or sexual orientation, being mistreated by other residents and being forced to share a room with a homophobic or transphobic roommate.

Making Progress

Many of these alarming studies have led assisted living and senior care communities to change practices. How have nursing homes worked hard to be welcoming to all seniors?

  1. Education: Senior living communities have instituted sensitivity trainings to protect seniors, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Education also helps to prevent accidental insensitivity.
  2. Anti-Discrimination Policies: Many facilities have formal anti-discrimination policies that specifically guard against sexual orientation and gender, as well as other protected categories like race.
  3. Clubs: Many different communities have started LGBTQ community groups led by residents that serve as a place to spend time with like-minded people and live proudly.
  4. Encouragement: If you are exploring communities, ask if there are other LGBTQ individuals living there. If there are, it’s a great sign that they have fostered an open and encouraging environment that welcomes everyone.
  5. Respecting Power of Attorney: Tragically, one 2020 study found that 20% of assisted living communities bypassed LGBTQ residents’ partner and contacted biological family members in emergencies instead of following their wishes. 80% are doing the right thing, and that number is expected to rise as training becomes more commonplace.  

Live Your Life Proudly with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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