Human Rights Campaign Foundation and SAGE Launch Survey for 2023 Long-Term Care Equality Index

by Jared Todd

WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults, announced the opening of the 2023 edition of its long-term care equality survey. The survey is completed by elder housing communities who wish to participate in the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI). The LEI is a first-of-its-kind national benchmarking tool that evaluates elder housing communities based on the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ residents, including research data on how many elder housing communities currently have LGBTQ+-inclusive policies, and lays out how organizations can participate in the LEI and improve their policies.

We’re proud to be partnering with SAGE on the Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI) as we highlight the need for more equitable and inclusive care for LGBTQ+ people as they age. The LEI is a first-of-its-kind benchmarking tool working to fundamentally change the inclusivity of residential long-term care. By completing this survey, every elder housing provider has an opportunity – and a responsibility – to improve or reevaluate their inclusive policies and practices to ensure that LGBTQ+ people at all stages of life have safe and equitable access to care. We look forward to analyzing the results and working alongside SAGE to release our findings in May of 2023.”

Jay Brown, HRC Senior Vice President of Programs, Research and Training

LGBTQ+ elders across the country deserve to feel safe and welcomed when they transition to long-term care, which is what makes the LEI such a crucial resource for our community. Thanks to our partnership with HRC Foundation, more LGBTQ+ elders and caregivers will have data on long-term care communities' equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ residents and patients. The more facilities that complete this survey, the more older LGBTQ+ people know where they can go to receive quality care, and ultimately, age with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Lynn Faria, SAGE's Executive Vice President

The invisibility of LGBTQ+ elders, many of whom remain closeted or return to the closet when they enter long-term care, has perpetuated the false perception that there is not a pressing need to make policy or practice changes to ensure that care communities are welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ elders. However, more than 5% of people who live in long-term care communities are LGBTQ+. And for LGBTQ+ BIPOC community members, there is compounded fear of discrimination and inadequate care based not only on sexual orientation and gender identity, but also racial bias.

Many elder housing communities that want to welcome LGBTQ+ residents may not know how to do so. The Long-Term Care Equality Index gives professionals, providers, older adults and care partners the tools for being LGBTQ+ inclusive, building on the decade-plus success of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The LEI measures the following policy and practice areas as benchmarks of LGBTQ+ inclusion:

  • Foundational Policies & Practices;

  • Resident Services & Support;

  • Employee Benefits & Policies; and

  • Resident & Community Engagement

To date, following the release of the inaugural 2021 report, there were 109 “Commitment to Caring'' pledges completed, which is the first step in the LEI and indicates a communities’ intentions to adopt LGBTQ+ inclusive and culturally competent policies and practices. Additionally, there were 66 self-assessments completed for 252 diverse elder housing communities, with 32 states represented. The next LEI report will be released in May of 2023. Organizations can participate in the LEI by signing the “Commitment to Caring” pledge after which they will receive a customized LEI survey link.

For more information about the LEI, visit

The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ+ community.

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