Assisted Living Community Receives SageCARE LGBT Cultural Competency Training

Northampton’s LGBTQ Advisory Council ... From Left-to-Right, Back Row: Tiffany Espinosa, Executive Director of Professional and Graduate Education, Mount Holyoke College; Jaime Michaels, Executive Director, Out for Reel; Grace Moreno, President, LGBT Chamber of Commerce; Gerri Lorusso, Vice President, Christopher Heights™; Kerry Brumbaugh, Marketing Assistant, Christopher Heights™ Northampton; Rob Zucker, Owner, Counseling for the Journey; Michael Taylor, Executive Director, Christopher Heights™ Northampton. Front Row, from Left to Right: Teresa Weybrew, Director of Marketing and Admissions, Christopher Heights™ Northampton; Karen Bradway, Director of Life Enrichment, Christopher Heights™ Northampton; Carol Drexler, Christopher Heights™ Northampton resident and retired therapist; Val Nelson, Owner, The Black Swan Coach; Photo: Carol Wallace, Northampton Gazette
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Christopher Heights™ Becomes 1st Assisted Living Community in Western Massachusetts to receive training and Platinum designation from SageCare

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Recently, Christopher Heights™ Northampton (CHN) became the first Assisted Living Community in Western Massachusetts to receive LGBT Cultural Competency Accreditation through SageCARE, a national cultural competency LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) training program for healthcare providers for older populations.

The training focused on increasing awareness about the unique needs and concerns of LGBT older adults, offering meaningful ways to best support LGBT older adults, and providing measures for creating genuinely inclusive communities and services.

“Christopher Heights helps seniors enjoy their life as they age. We create a welcoming home for our residents at vulnerable times, including transitioning from living alone to living in a supportive community,” said Michael Taylor, CHN’s Executive Director. “Seniors who identify as LBGTQ have often faced discrimination and might be nervous to join a new community. We want all people to know they will be welcomed and supported with dignity when they walk through our doors.”

CHN’s commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive community is reflected in the high participation rate—96 percent of its managers and frontline staff completed the training—and in its Platinum designation, SageCARE’s highest rating.

Teresa Weybrew (right), director of Marketing and Admission at CHN with Carol (a resident).

“Given our unique LGBT-friendly location, we want to ensure that Christopher Heights of Northampton is at the forefront of acceptance and inclusivity for all Assisted Living Communities in Western Massachusetts,” said Teresa Weybrew, director of Marketing and Admission at CHN.

Jackie Dionne, CHN’s Resident Care Manager, feels that the training has given staff more tools to better welcome all residents.

“We are always working on providing care from the heart, so it’s helpful to have more insight into how to offer compassion and awareness,” she said.

Karen Bradway, CHN’s Life Enrichment Director, was impressed that the residents took everything from the training in stride. She noted that it initiated substantive conversations about gender and sexuality at the staff level that had not surfaced previously.

“The training was an important step in exploring the on-going ways of addressing inclusiveness,” Bradway said.

 

About Christopher Heights ™ Northampton Assisted Living Community

Christopher Heights™ Northampton is one of six affordable assisted living communities in Massachusetts. It offers private apartments in the Village Hill neighborhood, a mixed-use community located in a natural setting that features spectacular mountain views and walking paths. Residents of Christopher Heights of Northampton also enjoy a nearby downtown area full of restaurants, shopping, arts, and culture, as well as many parks and scenic venues to explore. CHN is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive community and to providing the best care for every resident.

[From a News Release]

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