Angel “Louie” Cruz, a patient at Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare and an avid fisherman, recently spoke…
As part of its mission to provide superior care and superior services to the patients and families Ohio’s Hospice is privileged to serve, the not-for-profit hospice is committed to LGBTQ inclusive hospice and palliative care. At Ohio’s Hospice, inclusion and diversity are reflected in the culture of the organization.
In 2019, Ohio’s Hospice earned Platinum certification through SAGECare, which provides training and consulting on LGBT aging issues to service providers. Through SAGECare’s training, Ohio’s Hospice’s care teams and leadership have the knowledge base, understanding and tools they need to ensure that the LGBTQ community feels welcome.
The leadership team of Ohio’s Hospice and its affiliates has completed four-hour in-person training, which is designed to help leaders create communities that are genuinely inclusive and build on the diversity and strength of both the staff and the care recipients. The staff of Ohio’s Hospice also has completed training, through web-based SAGECare LGBT training.
The training addresses the basics about what LGBT means. It covers stories of actual LGBT older adults and how their lives have intersected with changes in how society thinks about and treats LGBT people. The training also teaches staff skills to work with LGBT adults. In addition, it offers suggested improvements across multiple departments, including programming, policy and procedures, marketing, facilities, and staff and board recruitment.
“The SAGECare LGBT training provides our staff with important training on the nuances of care for the LGBTQ community. It has enabled our staff to remember and recognize that LGBTQ seniors grew up in a time that was not as accepting,” said Carl Billingsley, communications coordination specialist at Ohio’s Hospice. “As a result, they may be less open about their personal lives. Our staff is committed to understanding those differences and communicating carefully with respect to each patient’s situation.”
Because of the training and its commitment to creating a more welcoming community to LGBTQ adults, Ohio’s Hospice is now credentialed with SAGECare certification.
“This certification means that our staff has completed training on the culture and needs of LGBT older adults,” said Brandi Barlow, vice president of administration at Ohio’s Hospice. “They now have tools and education to better serve LGBTQ older adults.”
Because Ohio’s Hospice has achieved platinum certification through SAGECare, it now includes this information in its job postings and on the organization’s websites. “We want people to understand that we welcome LGBTQ staff, and we serve patients in the LGBTQ community,” Barlow said.
Ultimately, Ohio’s Hospice wants the LGBTQ community to feel welcome, whether they are a patient, spouse, partner, significant other or family member.
“Our care teams are committed to serving LGBTQ patients and families with dignity and compassion,” Barlow said. “The goal is for everyone to have the best end-of-life experience possible. We want to make sure that our LGBTQ patients feel welcome and can communicate their wishes at the end of their lives.”
The care teams at Ohio’s Hospice work with the patient and family to develop the best plan of care. The plan of care helps the care teams ensure that the patient’s wishes are carried out until the very end.
For more information about Ohio’s Hospice, click here.