The demographic facing challenges in nursing home care

Nursing home workers should be well trained in LGBTQ+ care to provide proper support to patients in the demographic, a recent article by two Indiana University researchers said, according to The Bay Area Reporter.

The article, published in Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, was co-authored by geriatric physician Jennifer Carnahan, MD, a research scientist with the Regenstrief Institute, which is affiliated with Indiana University's Center for Aging Research, and Andrew Pickett, PhD, an elder care researcher and assistant professor at Indiana University's School of Public Health in Bloomington.

They suggest that new residents being admitted to nursing homes should be asked about sexual orientation and gender identity to reduce health disparities and normalize "sexual and gender minority status," for LGBTQ+ individuals.

When entering a nursing home, most LGBTQ+ older adults anticipate neglect, abuse, refusal of services, harassment or being forced back into the closet, according to a 2018 AARP survey. 

"Health care workers across disciplines are not well trained in care for LGBTQ+ older adults," the article said. "Stereotypes and inadequate knowledge of the LGBTQ+ population are not uncommon among those who care for older adults." 

The authors advocate for LGBTQ+-related training to educate staff on how to care for the population and reduce stigma.

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