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United Hebrew Earns Recognition for LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Care: New Credential Strengthens Commitment to LGBTQ+ Older Adults through Partnership with SAGECare

April 21, 2024 | Press Release

“This training ensures we’re fostering a welcoming community where people feel supported and can be themselves.”

(New Rochelle, NY) Many older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBTQ) have experienced prejudice or social stigma at one time or another. As a result, they may avoid accessing healthcare or aging services for fear of discrimination. Recognizing a critical need, United Hebrew of New Rochelle has earned the prestigious SAGE Care credential, signifying its commitment to providing exceptional care and support of the LGBTQ+ community.

“With anti-LGBTQ+ extremism on the rise, it is more important than ever to create safer spaces for LGBTQ+ people and that includes the places we age,” said Rita Mabli, President & CEO of United Hebrew. “We are thrilled to partner with SAGECare in our shared mission to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults. We believe in fostering a community where everyone feels respected, valued, and celebrated for who they are. This credential reaffirms our dedication to providing an inclusive environment that prioritizes the well-being of all residents.”

Building Bridges of Understanding

SAGE Care is a national training program developed by Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) to equip senior care providers with the cultural competency needed to serve LGBTQ+ residents effectively. The SAGECare credential process evaluates senior living communities based on various criteria, including non-discrimination policies, staff training on LGBTQ+ cultural competency, community engagement, and resident support services. To date, United Hebrew’s assisted living and memory care communities have earned the credential, with plans to expand the program to its nursing home underway.

“Working with SAGE has increased our team’s awareness of the unique life experiences, needs and preferences of our LGBTQ residents and their families,” said Nora O’Brien, Executive Director of Willow Towers Assisted Living and Willow Gardens Memory Care at United Hebrew. “Our residents can take comfort in knowing that they will be supported for being who they are.”

The SAGECare credential recognizes United Hebrew’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ seniors through its comprehensive approach. This includes:

Rigorous Staff Training: Staff participate in in-depth training on LGBTQ+ history, cultural competency, legal rights, and best practices for fostering a welcoming environment.

Inclusive Policies and Practices: United Hebrew has implemented non-discrimination policies and procedures that ensure all residents are treated with dignity and respect.

Resident Support Services: The staff is equipped to support residents with a variety of needs, promoting a sense of belonging and connection.

A Commitment to a Welcoming Environment

The training empowers United Hebrew staff to interact authentically with a diverse range of residents, families, and colleagues, adds O’Brien. “Everything we do is geared toward being welcoming,” added O’Brien. “The training has helped us avoid assumptions and create a space where everyone feels comfortable being themselves.”

By receiving the SAGECare credential, United Hebrew demonstrates its unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care for all seniors, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This dedication ensures a vibrant and inclusive community where LGBTQ+ residents can thrive.

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