Green Hill raises the rainbow flag

Photo Courtesy of Amy Simon
At the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo at Green Hill in West Orange are, from left, West Orange Councilman Victor Cirilo, Maplewood Committeeman Dean Dafis, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Green Hill President Donna Lazartic, Garden State Equality Program Director Aaron Potenza, Green Hill LGBT Senior Housing and Care Program Director Amy Simon, GSE Health and Wellness coordinator Bianca Mayes, and SAGE NJ Gordon Sauer.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Green Hill, in collaboration with Garden State Equality, raised the rainbow flag on June 9, pledging its commitment to LGBT elders of New Jersey at the first LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo in New Jersey at Green Hill in West Orange.

The LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo and flag raising was part of a yearlong effort by Green Hill to understand the needs and wants of the LGBT senior community in housing, long-term care, and health and quality-of-life services. The mission of the LGBT Senior Housing and Care program is to create a model of best practice in long-term care housing and services for LGBT seniors of all economic levels, races, religions and cultures, and to advocate for and share this model across the aging services field.

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.

Working with Garden State Equality, Green Hill held an LGBT Senior Housing and Care Roundtable in October 2017 with senior care industry leaders and LGBT stakeholder organizations. In April 2018 the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Needs Assessment was launched statewide with questions regarding long-term care planning, discrimination experiences, aging fears, and LGBT health care and quality-of-living needs and desires. The survey received 223 responses.

On June 9, the LGBT Senior Housing and Care Expo was held with 75 health care, long-term care industry and LGBT stakeholders in attendance. The LGBT Senior Housing and Care Needs Assessment results were discussed, along with educational sessions.

“It is time to integrate our cultural competency training for our growing LGBT elder community with programming and support services needed and desired across the care spectrum to ensure the LGBT community is well-served, and feels at home in a community care setting,” Green Hill Executive Director and President Donna Lazartic said.