Green Hill to host first LGBT continuum of care roundtable in NJ

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Green Hill, a senior living community in West Orange, will host the first New Jersey LGBT continuum of care community roundtable discussion on Saturday, Oct. 14, with industry providers, LGBT community stakeholders and advocacy leaders on the needs and desires of the elder LGBT community in continuum of care services and senior living.

Partnering with Garden State Equality and SAGEUSA, Green Hill is leading the way in serving the elder LGBT community by working with community stakeholders to create a model of best practice in long-term care housing and services for LGBTQ seniors of all economic levels, races, religions and cultures, and to advocate for and share this model across the aging services field. Following the roundtable, an elder LGBT community needs assessment survey will be instituted in winter 2018, and an LGBT elder resource expo will be held at Green Hill in June 2018.

“The most natural of next steps for Green Hill on its mission to serve our diverse community was specialized training to provide a welcoming home and person directed life and health care for our growing LGBT elder community,” Green Hill Executive Director and President Donna Lazartic said in a press release. “Now it is time to create the unique programming needed and desired, across the care spectrum to ensure the LGBT community is well-served and feels at home in a community care setting.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force notes that there are currently 2.4 million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in the United States 65 years and older. By 2030 that number is expected to grow by 50 percent. The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living estimates that “between 1.75 and 4 million American ages 60 and over are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

“LGBT older adults paved the way for the freedoms that younger generations enjoy today. Historically they faced greater prejudice and stigma, and greater disruptions to their lives,” Aaron Potenza, director of programs and policy for Garden State Equality, said in the release. “As recent research shows, they face greater barriers to financial security, lack of access to culturally competent health care, and less robust social supports and community engagement. They can feel unwelcome in the general aging population. What is unique and exciting about the Green Hill roundtable is that it is a community conversation, with providers, advocates and LGBT elders all coming together to engage in meaningful dialogue about creating programs to reduce those barriers and create welcoming living environments for the elder LGBT community. Garden State Equality is proud to be participating in this conversation and this effort.”

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