Encouraging an Inclusive Practice: Care Management Ally Comes Out in Support of the LGBT Community
October 2016 | Tiffany Webster, MSW, LCSW, CMC, A Plus Aging Advantage
We are all human beings. We are alike in many ways. However, each of us is unique. We each have our own story to tell. There may be similarities to our stories, yet no story is the same. Yet, not everyone sees the beauty in our differences or what makes us unique. Do you?
We choose words to define ourselves and to tell our story. We are each more than one characteristic or one aspect. We each want to be seen as a whole person and for who we truly are. We each deserve to be seen for who we are – a person that has likes and dislikes, a person that has much to contribute, a person who loves, and a person who is loved. However, not everyone agrees with this and we are sometimes defined by one characteristic or aspect of ourselves. Have you done this? Has this been done to you?
In recent months, I have had to take time to evaluate my own thoughts and try to comprehend the events that have taken place in our country and around the world. Violence and hatred towards people based on their beliefs, religion or sexual orientation/gender identity has occurred in the past and are not new, but they caused me to reflect on my own thoughts and actions. Am I doing enough? What can I do differently? I also had to process my emotions of anger and fear at the senseless acts. Anger and fear are powerful, especially when they are a part of everyday life. These emotions can take hold of you and change you. How do we get past them?
I do not have all the answers. I am far from perfect. I have made mistakes. I believe this is part of being human. I have to smile at this. We live in a world where for some reason; we are expected to be perfect. However, who defines what is perfect? How are we to grow if we do not make mistakes? How are we to learn if we do not communicate with one another? To grow as a person and to understand we must listen to the stories of others and hear what makes them who they are. It can be scary to share your story with someone that you do not know. Will they accept you or turn away?
I want you to know that there are people who want to hear your story. There are people that will see you as a whole person. There are people that understand your fear and anger. There are people that want to have the conversations with you that only you can have. This is important for anyone at any age, but it is especially important for those who are aging or facing health challenges, and even more important for those in the LGBT community. Who is your support system? Where do you turn for help?
Care management or Aging Life Care™ is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults and others facing ongoing health challenges. When you find yourself or a loved one facing ongoing health challenges it is usually the first time either of you have gone through this experience. In a time of uncertainty, Aging Life Care Professionals™ can provide needed answers. These caring professionals have the experience to guide you through the maze of providers and options. When you share your story, what is important to you and your fears, it helps a care manager find the right provider. Their guidance ensures quality care and an optimal life for you or the one you love. You do not have to do it alone. You will have an advocate by your side.
I encourage you to visit www.aginglifecare.org to find an Aging Life Care Professional in your area that is a good fit for you or your loved one.
Tiffany Webster, MSW, LCSW, CMC is an Aging Life Care Professional™ with A+ Aging Advantage in the St. Louis area, she has been privileged to work with many different clients. She enjoys getting to know each person and hearing their unique story. The goal at A+ Aging Advantage goal is to provide excellent service to everyone in our community, and they understand the challenges the LGBT community faces. Tiffany states that she loves her profession, and is proud that they provide an inclusive environment for members of the LGBT community as they age.