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COA Staff Trained on LGBT Elder Issues

COA Staff Trained on LGBT Elder Issues

Over the past year, the ElderSource Institute has been offering the LGBT Cultural Competency Training. This program has been designed to fill an educational gap for professionals who work with older adults and help them better understand key concepts, vocabulary, and the many barriers faced by older adults in the LGBT community.

ElderSource will like to give a "shout out" to the Council on Aging of Volusia County who has embraced the importance of ensuring older LGBT adults are provided the dignity and care they need as they age. To that end, the Council on Aging President and CEO, Sarah Gurtis, has ensured that all of their employees have received the LGBT Cultural Competency Training.

"This is an important commitment and investment we have decided to make for our organization --- another component to providing our staff with the skills they need to give excellent care," said Gurtis. "All aging individuals deserve kind and competent care from professionals, especially those who might feel misunderstood or excluded," she added.
As any other older adult, LGBT seniors face the typical challenges of aging. However, because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity they are at a higher risk for abuse, isolation, discrimination and exploitation. Therefore, LGBT seniors are five times less likely to access services than non-LGBT seniors, depriving them of the support that they need.

By bringing this training to employees they will be given the tools they need to confidently and comfortably work with and care for LGBT seniors. In turn, this ensures that LGBT elders are treated with respect and dignity, allowing them to be true to themselves.

ElderSource Institute's LGBT Elder Cultural Competency Training is supported by a grant from the LGBT Community Fund at The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. This allows ElderSource Institute to offer this training at no cost to any company.

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