Chase Brexton / LGBT Health Resource Center

Many LGBT elders struggle to find welcoming, affirming health care providers – and the stakes can be even higher when they consider opening their doors to in-home assistance.

The issues surrounding personal home care for LGBT elders, as well as tips for finding the right provider, will be discussed at an upcoming Lunch & Learn workshop offered by The LGBT Health Resource Center on Thursday, August 9th from noon to 1:30 pm at Chase Brexton Health Care’s Mount Vernon Center (1111 North Charles Street, Baltimore).

We asked Suzanne Bartley, business development executive with Home Centris Personal Home Care and the workshop’s presenting speaker, to provide a preview of the session.

What is home care, and what kinds of assistance might it include?

Home care services are doctor-ordered services which allow individuals to have assistance in the home. Home care provides assistance with activities of daily living, meal prep, transportation to shopping and medical appointments and assistance with medication, among other needs. Home care providers can also attend to light housekeeping and laundry assistance. Historically, home care was known for providing companion or supervision, but in recent years it has been at the forefront of finding ways for people to remain at home longer and age in place.

When deciding whether home care is right for them, what are some key things for LGBT elders to consider?

There are a few things that LGBT elders should think about when selecting a home care company. These include the company’s background – who owns the company, how long have they been in business, how are their staff trained, and do they have LGBT staff and caregivers? How are workers supervised to ensure proper care is given, and does the company make scheduled quality assurance calls and visits? Are caregivers insured and bonded by the company, and what qualifications, certifications, experience and training does the company require of its workers?

What are some common obstacles for LGBT elders in accessing home care?

The primary concern for LGBT elders is getting to know the caregivers that come into their home. We allow our staff to be interviewed by prospective clients before beginning home care services. Choosing a company can be a difficult task, but clients should ensure their home care provider meets their needs, whether they are based on culture, pricing, or schedule.

What resources are available to help overcome these obstacles?

Our company helps prospective clients address any concerns through our admission process and our community resources. In addition, The LGBT Health Resource Center can help connect individuals with caregiving services and support, and SAGE maintains a comprehensive guide to “Caregiving in the LGBT Community,” available at Tinyurl.com/LGBTcaregiving.

To attend or receiving more info on this upcoming Lunch and Learn workshop, RSVP to lgbt@chasebrexton.org or call 410-837-2050 x1049. For more info about the LGBT Health Resource Center’s Older Adult services, visit Chasebrexton.org/LGBTelders.

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