Tips for Finding Aging LGBTQ+ Service Providers
As an aging LGBTQ+ adult or caregiver, you might be looking for more help and services. However, it can be hard to trust new people with personal details of your life––especially during times of physical and emotional change. Here are 10 tips to help you find LGBTQ+ affirming service providers.
- One of the most powerful tools in the LGBTQ+ community is word of mouth. The best references come from people you already know and trust. Ask friends in similar circumstances who they have worked with, and whether they felt safe and respected.
- Contact local LGBTQ+ organizations, sexual health clinics, or other agencies with similar values and ask for referrals within their networks.
- Look for the providers that advertise in local LGBTQ+ publications, such as Lavender here in Minnesota.
- Reach out to local HIV service providers, who will often have knowledge of LGBTQ+ affirming providers within their networks.
- Review the provider’s promotional material, intake forms, etc. Are LGBTQ+ people, families, and life circumstances represented?
- Most providers have non-discrimination policies. Check to see if the policy is available publicly, and whether it includes specific language around sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Is there a statement of welcome or a diversity/inclusion statement? Are LGBTQ+ people named specifically?
- Visit SAGECare for a nationwide listing of providers that have received training from SAGE, which provides advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ elders.
- Check Violet, Rainbow Health’s directory of resources in Minnesota for aging LGBTQ+ adults and adults living with HIV. We’re adding providers all the time!
- Most importantly, trust your instincts. Only you and your trusted caregivers know what is best for you.
Remember, you deserve providers who understand LGBTQ+ issues and can provide you with competent, respectful care!
Adapted from SAGE.