Nine Tips on Finding LGBT-Affirming Services
Nervous about paid care services? The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging offers advice on what you can do to hire the supportive, friendly care provider who’s right for you.
As a caregiver, you and your loved one might be considering home care or long-term care services. However, you might be concerned about finding services and programs that are LGBT affirming. Inviting someone into your home or revealing personal information can be a very vulnerable time in any LGBT older adult’s life. It is important to find service providers who understand LGBT issues and provide equal care to all. Here are nine helpful tips on finding an LGBT-affirming service provider:
- Ask friends with similar circumstances who they have used—this is one of the best ways to find an LGBT-affirming provider.
- Contact your local LGBT Community Center, LGBT aging provider or other LGBT organization to ask for a referral to a provider they work with.
- For homecare agencies, reach out to your local HIV/AIDS service providers, who often have close connections to LGBT-affirming home care agencies.
- Most providers have non-discrimination policies—check to see if these policies specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Look to see who advertises in your local print and online LGBT newspapers and magazines.
- Review the provider’s pamphlets, brochures or websites. Are LGBT individuals represented in these materials?
- Do the providers use LGBT-inclusive language—such as partner, domestic partner, and significant other—on their websites, in their print materials or on their intake forms?
- Ask providers directly if they serve LGBT individuals and if they have anti-discrimination policies.
- And, remember, always trust your instincts! Only you and your loved one know what’s right for you.