Green Hill Inc. in collaboration with Garden State Equality, raised the rainbow flag on June 9th, pledging its commitment to LGBT elders of New Jersey at the first LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expoin New Jersey at Green Hill in West Orange.
The LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo and flag raising was part of a year-long effort by Green Hill to understand the needs and wants of the LGBT senior community in housing, long-term care and health and quality of life services. The mission of the LGBT Senior Housing and Care program is to create a model of best practice in long-term care housing and services for LGBT seniors of all economic levels, race, religions and cultures, and to advocate for and share this model across the aging services field.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force notes that there are currently 2.4 million Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender people in the United States 65 years and older. By 2030 that number is expected to grow by 50%. After completing the SAGEUsa culturally competency training earning Platinum Certification and Innovation Status, Green Hill recognized that there was little information available to outline next steps to creating welcoming environments for residents in long term care, who identify as LGBT.
Working with Garden State Equality, Green Hill held a LGBT Senior Housing and Care Roundtable in October 2017 with senior care industry leaders and LGBT stakeholder organizations. In April 2018 the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Needs Assessment was launched state-wide with questions regarding long-term care planning, discrimination experiences, aging fears and LGBT healthcare and quality of living needs and desires. The survey received 223 responses.
On Saturday June 9th the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo was held with 75 healthcare, long-term care industry and LGBT stakeholders in attendance. The LGBT Senior Housing and Care Needs Assessment results were discussed along with educational sessions including: Needs of the LGBT Senior in Housing and Care; Long-term Health and Financial Planning for the LGBT Senior; Developing Housing and Designing Programming for LGBT Seniors; LGBT Senior Advocacy in New Jersey.
Presenters at the Expo included: Donna Lazartic, MBA, LNHA President/Executive Director Green Hill Inc.; Aaron Potenza, MA, M.Phil. Program Director for Garden State Equality; Bianca Mayes, MPH, CHES, Garden State Equality Health and Wellness Coordinator; Jackie Baras, MSN, MBA/HCS, RN LGBT Healthcare Pioneer, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health; Scott Seal, Partner Novus Equities; Pearl Thompson, Founder, HYSSOP Housing; Graeme Davis, President, Health Advocacy Network; William S. Singer, Partner, Singer & Fedun, LLC; and Master of Ceremony Amy Simon, Principal of A Simon Says, LLC and the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Program Director. Results of the 1stNJ LGBT Senior Housing and Care Needs Assessment and presentations from the Expo can be found at https://www.green-hill.com/lgbt-senior-housing-care/.
The LGBT community will continue to grow, and to age in our state and across the nation. It is incumbent upon elder care providers to create homes for, and provide resources, care and programming to the growing elder LGBT community. Green Hill has taken the first steps towards this effort with cultural competency training, the LGBT Senior Housing and Care program, raising of the rainbow flag, instituting a Welcoming Non-discrimination Pledge for all visitors to Green Hill and the revision of Green Hill client intake documents. Debriefing of the Needs Assessment Survey will result in further programmatic, health and care strategies to best serve the growing LGBT senior community.
“It is time to integrate our cultural competency training for our growing LGBT elder community with programming and support services needed and desired across the care spectrum to ensure the LGBT community is well-served, and feels at home in a community care setting,” said Donna Lazartic, MBA LNHA, Green Hill Executive Director-President.
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Green Hill is a SAGECare Platinum certified, welcoming community, rated Five-Stars by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and home of the 1stGreen House® Homes in New Jersey. To learn more about Green Hill and our programs visit www.green-hill.com and, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.