Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NCAL Wins National Award for LGBT In-Service Training

Lindsay Schwartz 

NCAL was a winner in the 23rd annual National Mature Media Awards Program. “Better Serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Populations in Long Term Care” received a Bronze Award for Staff/In-service Training for its design, content, creativity, and relevance to the senior market.

The training program was offered at the 2013 NCAL Spring Conference, as well as around the country at numerous state affiliate conferences.

The training program begins with a background on the terminology used among LGBT community and provides a short history on the struggles and advancements of LGBT individuals. 

For instance, it points out that the Gay Liberation movement started in the late 1960’s. Until 1973, homosexuality was classified as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

The NCAL training program offers things caregivers can do for LGBT residents in assisted living communities. Specifically, it advocates ongoing education and sensitivity training to increase cultural competency.

For example, the training encourages staff to be accepting of each resident’s loved ones. For LGBT residents, this means visitation should not be denied to their spouses, partners, or families of choice (a circle of friends who are like family).

Additionally, NCAL’s education program teaches caregivers to approach residents on their terms. Some LGBT residents may be comfortable being out with their caregivers, while others may prefer to only tell those with whom they are close.

NCAL encourages staff training to avoid discussions on whether homosexuality is right or wrong. “The goal of training is to convey that staff are to provide quality care to all residents, and sexual orientation should not change this,” the educational program says.

Improving care to the LGBT population should be an effort for the inevitable future. The Equal Rights Center in Washington, D.C., estimates that the number of LGBT Americans 65 and older to double from 3 million to 6 million by 2030.

The presentation is a member benefit, available for download from the NCAL website. If you are interested in having the in-service training presented at your upcoming conference, please contact Lindsay Schwartz: lschwartz@ncal.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment