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Ten Tips on Finding LGBT-Affirming Services

May 2016

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Nervous about paid care services? Here’s 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 ten helpful tips on finding an LGBT-affirming service provider:

  1. Ask friends with similar circumstances who they have used—this is one of the best ways to find an LGBT-affirming provider.
  2. Look for information about whether the staff are regularly trained on how to provide culturally competent care to LGBT people. SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) offers robust training programs and publically lists agencies that have received their training. 
  3. Contact your local LGBT Community Center, LGBT aging provider or other LGBT organization to ask for a referral to a provider they work with.
  4. For homecare agencies, reach out to your local HIV/AIDS service providers, who often have close connections to LGBT-affirming home care agencies.
  5. Most providers have non-discrimination policies—check to see if these policies specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  6. Look to see who advertises in your local print and online LGBT newspapers and magazines.
  7. Review the provider's pamphlets, brochures or websites. Are LGBT individuals represented in these materials?
  8. 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?
  9. Ask providers directly if they serve LGBT individuals and if they have anti-discrimination policies.
  10. And, remember, always trust your instincts! Only you and your loved one know what’s right for you.

For More Information

Hiring Home Care
Information and resources to help you assess your needs and find a home health care aide.

What Is Long-Term Care?
Information on long-term care, including who provides it, costs, and where to start looking for services.

CenterLink’s site features a searchable directory of LGBT Community Centers around the country.

© 2011-2016 Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint these articles, or post them online, please e-mail us.

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