Person-Centered Care Includes LGBT-Inclusive Approaches in Nursing Homes

November 16, 2018 | Aging Services Risk Management


At the core of person-centered care is getting to know an individual resident, which includes understanding a person's sexual orientation and gender identity if the person wishes to share the information, said Rabbi Erica Steelman, MHL, MPP, staff chaplain and director, LGBT+ Initiatives, Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life, North Wales, Pennsylvania​. Speaking at the October 28-31, 2018, Leading Age annual meeting in Philadelphia, Steelman challenged attendees to "cultivate self-awareness" regarding the assumptions that are sometimes made in encounters with residents. Ask open-ended questions that let residents disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity if they wish, she said. Steelman has helped to develop a rainbow version of the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) to address the needs of LGBT residents. The PELI tool is used by some nursing homes to assess individual preferences. Noting that the rainbow PELI is "still in its early stages," she said some of the modifications include options for indicating a preferred pronoun (e.g., he, she, they), preference for a roommate who is not prejudiced with regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, and involvement in LGBT advocacy activities. Steelman also recommended reviewing forms used by the organization to ensure they are inclusive of LGBT individuals and families.

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