2017 Fall News & Views - page 10

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 0 , V O L U M E 1
10
A
ssembly Bill 663, authored by Assemblymember
Jimmy Gomez in 2013, added the cultural competency
requirement to the uniform core of knowledge as part
of the initial RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly)
administrator certification training. Administrators are required
to have one hour of instruction on “cultural competency
and sensitivity in issues relating to the underserved, aging,
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community” as part of
their initial certification training or as part of their continuing
education units, if not included initially (Health and Safety
Code §1569.616 and CCR 87406). As with all other training
subject matter under the uniform core of knowledge without
a specified number of required hours, cultural competency
classes are an
option
for continuing education units rather than
a
requirement
during the two-year certification renewal period
(CCR 87407).
In 2014, the cultural competency requirement was added
to the required minimum training hours for general
direct care staff through Assembly Bill 1570, authored by
Assemblymember Wes Chesbro. This training is to be included
in their initial training (Health and Safety Code §1569.625).
Although licensed staff—certified nurse assistants (CNAs),
licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses—are
excluded from the requirement, CALA encourages providers
to include this beneficial training for all staff who interact with
residents.
Because statute doesn’t specify a minimum number of hours
for the initial training, licensees have discretion in determining
the amount of time spent on a topic and when the topic is
taught. As the implementation plan for AB 1570 points out, “For
training topics at licensee discretion, the number of training
hours to be dedicated to a training topic or when a training
topic is taught should be based on the needs of residents in
a RCFE, what staff need to know before and while working
with residents, and the needs of a RCFE” (see CALA’s website
for the AB 1570 implementation plan). For annual training,
licensees are given discretion on the remaining eight hours
not dedicated to a specific topic—dementia care, postural
supports, restricted health conditions, and hospice care—and
these hours can be dedicated to any of the topics required
for initial training, including cultural competency. Bear in
mind that CNAs are required to participate in all of the annual
training that licensees provide direct care staff.
TRAINING RESOURCES
FOR PROVIDERS
Two organizations that provide invaluable training and services
geared toward improving the lives of older LGBT adults are
SAGE and Openhouse. I contacted Dr. Tim Johnston, Director
of National Projects for SAGE, and Michelle Alcedo, Director
of Programs at Openhouse, for more information about their
organizations and the training they provide to Assisted Living,
Memory Care, and CCRC staff. Additionally, I learned a few
things they would want senior living staff to know and some
success stories that resulted from the work they do.
According to SAGE—whose training and consulting division
is called SAGECare—they are the “country’s oldest and largest
organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older
adults.”They “provide training on the unique needs of LGBT
older adults, with a focus on giving providers the tools they
need to make LGBT older adults feel safe openly discussing
their identity and relationships.”Openhouse shared that they
“provide the tools and knowledge that will allow LGBT seniors
to be better served.” Their “training program is designed to
help staff enhance their practices, delivering person-centered
care to LGBT older adults with greater skill, humility, and
confidence.”
HOW
do you raise awareness with other residents
and family members?
Tim Johnston:
We train staff to increase their comfort working
with LGBT people and discussing questions around diverse
sexual orientations and gender identities. Staff are then
encouraged to initiate conversations with other staff and family
members about the training, the community’s commitment to
LGBT inclusion, and respond to any questions or concerns.
Michelle Alcedo:
Once staff members have been trained,
Openhouse continues to offer technical assistance to the
community. This may include programming ideas that
engage residents, caregivers, and family members on LGBT
aging issues to build greater inclusion and safety within the
community for LGBT residents and their family members.
Technical assistance may also include implementation support
of best practices introduced in the training, as well as a
review of the community’s nondiscrimination statement and
communications/outreach collateral materials including print,
website, and social media presence for LGBT-welcoming and
affirming visibility.
WHAT
top three to five messages or points would
you want senior living staff to know or understand
about providing services to LGBT seniors?
Tim Johnston:
LGBT older adults may assume that they are not
welcome or safe in your community and decide to go
back into the closet.
Staff training is essential to ensure that LGBT older adults
feel supported and safe.
Residents who are not LGBT may have LGBT family
members who want to visit. Providing this training also
sends a message that LGBT friends, family, and loved
ones are welcome in your community.
Committing to LGBT cultural competency training tells
your staff that you value diversity and inclusion, and
want to invest in developing their professional skills.
Small investments in training will pay dividends in your
ability to attract LGBT and ally residents and families who
are looking for communities that care about diversity.
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