Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Geriatric Crowd...

Which I am a card carrying member, faces more discrimination. Many of us lack mobility and may need assisted living or home care what will happen to us? Will we get someone at a LTC (Long Term Care) facility who follows us around quoting the Bible? Will we get invited to setback card games? Or will we be isolated? Will we have to go back in the closet?
Growing old LGBTQ in the Berkshires: Barriers are many, residents say
The Berkshire Eagle
By Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
September 11, 2019

PITTSFIELD — A lack of public transportation and access to primary care physicians make growing old in the Berkshires a challenge. For LGBTQ residents, even more so.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen residents attended a Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Aging listening session at the Berkshire Athenaeum to talk about issues they have faced.

"Isolation, we know, is a really significant and toxic experience for folks," said Lisa Krinsky, director of the LGBT Aging Project at the Fenway Institute. "Most of us came from Eastern Massachusetts to attend the listening session. I think we all left with much more of an appreciation for the kind of transportation issues in the Berkshires."

The Commission on LGBT Aging has been traveling the state to hear from residents about barriers they face. The Pittsfield event was hosted by state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, vice chairwoman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Elder Affairs.
If I have to go into a LTC or a nursing home will I be harassed by the residents or the staff?
Members of the commission also talked about how to respond to discrimination, if it arises.

Two women also shared stories about how they have been intentionally misgendered, both being called "sir," at different county businesses.

Misgendering can be considered illegal gender stereotyping, said Chris Erchull, an attorney for GLAD, a national organization that provides legal services and advocacy for the LGBTQ community.
Um… well first off, GLAD is New England based and GLAAD is national, and Chris is from GLAD.

I know here in Connecticut there is work being done on making home healthcare, nursing homes, and LTC more LGBTQ+ friendly. Connecticut Community Care is providing training to those facilities…
What is LGBT Inclusivity and the Getting it Right program?

Getting it Right: Creating an LGBT Inclusive Organization is a program of Connecticut Community Care supported with funding from the John H. and Ethel G. Noble Charitable Trust. The program works with aging service providers such as home care and facility-based providers to create welcoming and intentionally inclusive services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) clients and families. We provide an integrated set of resources to Getting it Right (GIR) providers. These include training and other best practice resources. GIR begins with the premise that intentional inclusion means proactive practices that go beyond current standards and policies of non-discrimination.
Getting it Right is a “train the trainer” model. We train organizational champions who are then charged with training other direct service staff. GIR provides these training resources to the provider agency.
So far five organizations have gotten certified.

Like all training and certifications they all look good on paper but it takes a continuing effort to make it happen, it has to be top down with the administration leading the way and it has to be enforced at the supervisor level.

Also here in Connecticut the state legislature included a LGBTQ+ legislative committee, its charge is…
Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Health and Human Services Network to make recommendations to the state legislative, executive and judicial branches of government concerning the delivery of health and human services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons in the state.

(b) The network shall work to build a safer and healthier environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer persons by (1) conducting a needs analysis, within available appropriations, (2)  collecting additional data on the health and human services needs of such persons as necessary, (3) informing state policy through reports submitted at least biennially, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, human services, appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, other legislative committees as necessary, the Governor and the Chief Court Administrator, and (4) building organizational member capacity, leadership and advocacy across the geographic and social spectrum of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
I believe that this is the first LGBTQ+ legislative committee in the nation and one of my goals on the committee is to make sure that aging trans population get proper healthcare.

There is also another agency that is looking into proper healthcare for us in LTC facilities. State Unit On Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman Program has “Inclusive Community Workgroup” that is working to make sure not just the trans community but all minorities are treated with respect and dignity, and do not face discrimination and harassment.

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