September 19, 2019
Many people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) report having significant fear of discrimination and mistreatment as they age. Many LGBT older adults experience violations of their rights, when they try to access long-term care services and supports. Surveys have revealed concerns about discrimination by the staff and negative treatment by other residents, including verbal harassment and physical abuse. If you are facing this situation, you need to know your rights as LGBT residents in nursing homes.
Federal nursing home regulations and state and federal anti-discrimination laws protect all residents, including LGBT individuals, living in nursing homes from discrimination, harassment and abuse. You need to know the laws that protect you, so you can take action when someone violates your rights.
If a long-term care facility receives any Medicare or Medicaid funding or has Medicare or Medicaid certification, even if no current resident receives this funding, the facility must honor the following rights. The individual resident in a care center has these rights, whether he receives Medicare or Medicaid funding or not.
Federal law orders nursing home staff to protect all residents from abuse and neglect, and to promptly report and investigate allegations of mistreatment. You can also contact your state’s ombudsman for long-term care to advocate for you.
An elder law attorney near you can explain how your state’s regulations differ from the general law of this article.
References: National Consumer Voice. “LGBT Elders.” (accessed August 15, 2019) https://ltcombudsman.org/issues/lgbt-elders
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