As the Baby Boomer and Gen X populations continue to age and enter retirement facilities, there will be more and more individuals who openly identify as LGBTQ and are looking for an environment that is accepting of their lifestyle.
While some senior living centers cater specifically to this demographic, it would be in the best interest of all to take the necessary steps to ensure that residents feel at home and safe.
What are the ways you can prepare your facility to be more inclusive and welcoming to all? In this article, we will go over three of the main areas where you can improve your processes to help increase diversity.
For many potential residents, the first stop for information will be the facility’s website, brochures, or other communications materials. Make sure that you have inclusive language that lets individuals know that – no matter their background – they will find a home and community within your facility. However, this is just the first step. Be sure to have talking points ready for any prospective tenant who might have questions about what initiatives or protocols the senior care facility has to deal with this particular (and important) topic.
Of course, letting potential clients know that the facility accepts all walks of life is only half of the battle. For residents to actually feel safe, staff members must be adequately trained in inclusion and diversity – including those employees answering the phones and providing additional information about the facility to prospective residents. Given the level of victimization that many members of the LGBTQ community have faced over the years, they need to feel confident that they will be interacting with empathetic staff members they can trust, particularly if these individuals will be prescribing medicine.
The transition from independent to facility living can be jarring even in the best of times. This can be particularly difficult for an older LGBTQ adult, who may feel they now need to hide their sexual orientation. Having inclusive activities as part of your program is essential. This could include more specific things like attending pride parades or just general cultural activities like going to museums or having social meet-ups where residents can discuss pertinent issues with like-minded individuals.