En español | Respect is important when caring for a loved one who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). You should openly discuss any concerns you or your loved one may have before arranging for professional care.
See also. Senior-care providers face more LGBT clients.
Whoever is providing the care must use — respectfully — the language that your loved one has chosen to use. If your loved one refers to a same-sex partner as a wife or husband, the caregivers should do the same.
Finding gay-friendly care providers may take some research. If you find doing this research uncomfortable, delegate it to someone you trust.
Resources for LGBT-friendly care
- The Human Rights Campaign report, Healthcare Equality Index 2010, has information on the policies and practices that health care facilities in the United States offer to LGBT patients and their families.
- SAGE is a national social service agency dedicated to LGBT seniors. SAGE is developing a National Technical Assistance Resource Center for the aging LGBT population, which can be found at www.lgbtagingcenter.org.
- The GLBT National Help Center is an online and by-phone resource center for information and referral. Hotline: 888-843-4564; e-mail: info@GLBTNationalHelpCenter.org;
- The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association lets you search for health care providers in your area.
- The local gay community center nearest to your loved one's home should have information on care providers who are LGBT-friendly. Try the Community of LGBT Centers locator.
- The Metropolitan Community Churches, an international Christian denomination, is particularly welcoming of LGBT people. A staff person at the nearest MCC might be able to recommend appropriate resources. Family Caregiver Alliance: www.Caregiver.org has several resources:
1. LGBT Caregiving: FAQs
2. Legal Issues for LGBT Caregivers
3. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues and Family Caregiving (2003) Monograph
LGBT Aging Project
Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization
Aging in Equity
The National Coalition for LGBT Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health
Resources for health care providers familiar with transgender issues
A useful primer about transgender people and gender identity from the American Psychological Association
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health has established Standards of Care for the treatment of gender identity disorders. It also has a "find a provider"
The Transgender Law Center has a guide for health care providers: 10 Tips for Working With Transgender Individuals
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