Free LGBT+ Awareness Trainings for Caregivers

 Caregivers of older adults are invited to improve their skills in working with older LGBT+ adults by attending a free training. Attendees earn a Certificate of Completion and $25, if they register at least one week ahead of the class date, arrive on time and complete the four-hour class.

The training helps family care providers or paid workers with In-Home Supportive Services, private homecare agencies, and assisted living or skilled nursing facilities understand the challenges faced by LGBT+ seniors and how to improve their care and services.

Register online:

·     July 25, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., Vintage House, 264 First St. East, Sonoma
Register: https://lgbt0725.eventbrite.com

·     August 22, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sebastopol Area Senior Center, 167 N. High St., Sebastopol

            Register: https://lgbt0822.eventbrite.com

·     September 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Person Senior Center/Finley Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa
Register: https://lgbt0926.eventbrite.com

·     October 10, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., Windsor Senior Center, 9231 Foxwood Dr., Windsor
Register: https://lgbt1010.eventbrite.com

Clients of local senior service agencies and facilities will be informed that they can choose a caregiver who completed the training and are credentialed by SAGECare. The only national LGBT aging cultural competency training program, SAGECare is part of the advocacy group SAGE.

For more information about the trainings and caregiver certification, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging/Area-Agency-on-Aging/LGBTQ-Older-Adults, or call the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging (SoCoAAA) at (707) 565-5700. 

Additional trainings will be held through November. The goal of the series of classes is to train and certify 180 care providers about the needs of LGBT+ older adults and LGBT+ adults with disabilities.

In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority (IHSS PA), SoCoAAA, SAGECare and LGBTQ Connections developed the trainings because LGBT+ older adults face different challenges than other caregiver clients.

“LGBT seniors are five times less likely to access the mainstream health, housing, and social services that are available to other seniors,” says Sonoma County’s Human Services Department Adult & Aging Division Director Paul Dunaway. “While most service providers say their services are open to everyone, unless they are intentional about implementing LGBT inclusive practices, they are leaving out this often hidden and underserved population.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging to bring this important training to service providers in Northern California” says Tim Johnston, SAGE’s director of National projects. “Training is the foundation of person-directed care, and we hope this program can have a positive impact on LGBT older adults in the county.”

“An estimated 47,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors live in Sonoma County,” says LGBTQ Connection Program Director Ian Stanley Posadas. “Even if you don’t know us as LGBT, we are your neighbors, your grocery clerks, your teachers, contractors, nurses, counselors, bank tellers, letter carriers. We are your children, your parents, and also your grandparents.”

To learn about the many Adult & Aging Division services and programs for older adults, seniors and disabled residents of all ages, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging-Division.