Training offered on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Professionals serving older adults are becoming more aware of their need to become more competent and skilled in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) seniors. It is estimated there are one to three million LGBT seniors. As Boomers age, that number is projected to reach three to seven million by 2030.

A national study by SAGEUSA in 2010 found that Area Agencies on Aging want to provide services to LGBT seniors but need training.

To address the training gap, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and SAGEUSA are offering a three-part webinar training series on LGBT aging issues. The trainings are:

According to SAGEUSA, LGBT seniors are four times less likely to have children and twice as likely to live alone, compared with their heterosexual peers, but are five times less likely to access senior services. This lack of support increases the risk of depression, substance abuse, unnecessary institutionalization and premature death.

Many of the issues are poignantly expressed in the film Gen Silent, which is recommended viewing for anyone wanting to increase understanding.

Other training, education and support resources

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender older adults. Established in 2010 through a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging provides training, technical assistance and educational resources to aging providers, LGBT organizations and LGBT older adults. The center is led by SAGE, in collaboration with 18 leading organizations from around the country.

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging offers webinars and in-person trainings led by an NRC-certified trainer. Click here for a list of trainings and more info.

Online learning tool
The online learning tool, Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults, was developed by the Administration for Community Living and Administration on Aging, with support from many groups.

The tool is intended for long term care and other aging service providers as an introduction to LGBT aging. It is intended as a first step in learning how to create safe, welcoming and inclusive services for LGBT older adults.

For those participants using this tool who are working in a nonresidential setting, please print out and use this compendium guide to follow along with specific suggestions for nonresidential service settings. This tool is split up into six modules, each approximately 10 minutes long.

Project Visibility
Project Visibility is a training program developed in 2004 by Boulder County Aging Services, after the agency conducted extensive focus groups with area LGBT elders. The training is designed for administrators and staff of nursing homes, assisted living residences, home care agencies, and other senior service providers, as well as the friends and families of LGBT elders.

Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton
Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton provides advocacy, educational resources, support and referral services to the elder LGBT community and straight allies in the Greater Dayton, Ohio area.

Visit Council on Aging's Resource Directory for other LGBT resources