Missing 80% of these customers?
- Only 20% of LGBT seniors in long-term care facilities are comfortable being open about their sexual orientation.
- Many LGBT people feel in-home caregivers are not the solution: paid caregivers may be biased, or feared biased.
- The senior living industry is “totally ill-prepared” for LGBT. (Anna Gorman, KHN)
Tolerating ≠ welcoming
For any business, here are 5 resources to lift barriers to service and be welcoming to LGBT people:
- “Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults.” Sage (for caregivers and healthcare providers)
- “Creating a Healthcare Practice Welcoming to LGBT Seniors” Lavender Srs. of East Bay. Easy-to-access and interesting video training on Udemy, and works on mobile.
- 30 minute video about the unique experiences and needs of LGBT older adults, as well as some best practices for welcoming LGBT people. Sage
- Circulate the whitepaper, “Out and Visible,” and read about the experiences of LGBT older adults. Sage/Harris Nielsen Poll
- Learn how to address LGBT in your communications from GLAAD. Start by reading terms to avoid in your communications, so you don’t use outdated or derogatory stereotypes.
More Training + Higher Wages = Improved Care
50% of home caregivers leave their job every year, often for better pay, more hours and reliable schedules. A lot of caregivers have real passion for their work, but average pay of $10 an hour doesn’t encourage investments in training. The move to $15 an hour, unionization, and overtime is improving wages. Some care agencies provide training of up to 150 hours. Bigger paychecks will not improve home care for seniors unless home care workers are better screened, trained and organized. KHN.
WalMart increased wages, increased training by $2.7 billion, and provided predictable scheduling to its store workers. The result was much improved customer service, cleaner stores and higher sales. It’s called “upskilling.” NYT
“Taking care of the people who take care of you” is the tag line for WalMart’s commercial about the improvements (click image to play)
Health coaches fill gaps
Mount Sainai Health System in NYC uses ordinary citizens to fill the gaps in healthcare. Trained health coaches help patients with problems they don’t want to talk to their doctor about. For clients with chronic illnesses or low-income, health coaches are confidants and improve outcomes. Coaches also help clients learn to be better advocates for their own health. KHN
Community health workers reduce readmissions
Maryland reduced 30-day hospital readmissions from 25% to 10% at St. Joseph’s with community health workers that visit a patient 5 to 10 times. Initially, CNAs were used, but the program broadened to include home health aides and EMTs. They are trained in motivational interviewing, community and clinical health work. MH[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Consolidating in-home care companies
Almost Family ($AFAM) is buying a controlling stake in the hospice and in-home care business of a hospital company, Community Health Systems ($CHS). After the deal, Almost family will have revenue of $170 million from in-home care and $30 million from hospice. Details of the new joint venture at HHCN.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
In November, PBS is airing the documentary “Cyber Seniors.” The film chronicles seniors learning to use the internet through their teenage mentors. “Wise and downright funny” – the Film Journal. “Sweetly moving” – The Hollywood Reporter.