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  • SAGE and Karen Mcphail, RN, MSN, CDP

What is the The Long-term Care Equality Index (LEI)? Questions Answered!

I am becoming more frequently asked about the specifics of the Long Term Care Equality index, which is wonderful! Numerous long term care providers have requested information, so today our blog will focus on the frequently asked questions, hopefully provide clarity to many, and foster participation!!! I strongly encourage that ALL Long Term Care providers participate in this program!!!

The Long-term Care Equality Index (LEI) is an assessment tool that helps residential long-term care communities measure the extent to which they are providing culturally competent care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. It consists of a survey and practical recommendations on improving policies, procedures, training and outreach for best care. It was developed by two of the nation’s leading organizations serving LGBTQ communities – the Human Rights Campaign and SAGE. For more information about the LEI, visit

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for organizations:

1. What is the LEI?

a. It is a multi-question assessment tool that will help residential long-term care

communities assess the extent to which their policies and practices provide culturally competent and responsive care to LGBT older adults. It includes three steps:

i. Step 1: Make the Commitment to Caring Pledge – having organizational leadership sign our online pledge is a first and important step in confirming that your organization is interested and ready to learn about and implement best practices for serving LGBT older adults.

ii. Step 2: Take the Self-Assessment. Take our confidential self-assessment and find out how your organization fares when it comes to providing LGBT-inclusive services. Assessment results are paired with development resources and best practices so you can move the needle on improving care to LGBT older adults at your organization.

iii. Step 3: Take the survey. When you’re ready, take the Survey. We will promote organizations who have completed the process in a national report scheduled to come out in 2021. Your agency will be listed as one of the model communities who participated in the LEI.

2. Does it cost anything?

a. No, participating in the LEI is free of charge. The development and maintenance of the

LEI is supported by contributions to HRC Foundation and SAGE.

3. How long will it take?

a. We anticipate most organizations to take about 12 months from Step 1: Make the

Commitment to Caring Pledge through Step 3: Take the Survey. The time span will range for organizations based on their self-assessment results, the amount of development

work they would like to engage in before completing the final survey, and their internal resources for making any needed changes.

4. Why should my organization sign on to this (i.e. what benefits will we receive)?

a. It will support your ability to comply with existing and developing regulations in senior

care. In alignment patient-centered care practices, providing LGBT culturally responsive

and relevant care is an important element of this approach.

b. Your organization will receive national visibility for its LGBTQ inclusion.

c. It will help your organization move your own diversity, equity and inclusion goals

forward with practical implementation support and resources.

5. What’s required of my organization to do this?

a. Executive Leadership support is required to engage in this initiative. Only those

authorized with decision-making authority for the organization may sign the Pledge.

b. We recommend each organization identify a staff member who is responsible for

moving forward with the self-assessment, learning about and implementing any

operational changes, and completing the final survey.

c. We recommend all organizations engaging in the LEI plan to invest in some degree of

LGBT cultural competency training for their staff.

6. Why now?

a. LGBT older adults all over the country have told us their stories of receiving disparate

treatment – we’re working to change those experiences to positive ones. In one recently study, 48% of LGBT couples received adverse differential treatment on telephone interviews once their sexual orientation was disclosed. In many places, LGBT people are being turned away from service, or being served in ways that leave them feeling mistreated based on their identity – sometimes without organizational leadership realizing this is happening. The LEI will provide your agency with clear indicators on how to provide LGBT-inclusive service and what steps you need to take in order to improve.

b. The LEI is based on two other assessment tools developed by the Human Rights Campaign – the Corporate Equality Index (assessing corporate LGBTQ-inclusiveness), and the Healthcare Equality Index. Organizations who engaged early in each were able to grow with the assessment over the years and receive prime recognition for their efforts in the national reports.


SAGE Director of National Education

#sage #lei #blog #Eldementals #lgbt #lgbtq

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