National Resource Centre on LGBT Aging

The National Resource Centre on LGBT Aging (NRC) is US’ first and only technical assistance resource that focuses on improving service quality and support offered to LGBT. The organization was established in 2010 with initial funding by the Department of Health and Human Services. The company’s primary objectives include providing training on service delivery for the aged LGBT (SAGE, 2021). Service and Advocacy lead the organization for LGBT elders, which collaborates with other 18 leading organizations. Notably, by 2030 the elderly above 65 are estimated to double, including the 2.4 million LGBT (Wardecker et al., 2018. Hence, the organization and affiliated caregivers need to be sensitive to the concern of LGBT individuals by being open minded-affirming, and supportive.

The NRC for the elderly LGBT mission is to offer training and technical assistance to expand the capacity of service provision to the efficient support of LGBT older people and offer LGBT elders the necessary information to plan for later years (SAGE, 2021). LGBT caregivers face challenges in obtaining relevant information for the elderly. As an independent resource for the LGBT movement, the organization aims to accelerate social and political equality for the LBT older people by offering strategic information, insight, and analysis (Doherty et al., 2016). While the paradigm shift to fair treatment in the US is increasing significantly, the LGBT community has faced longstanding discrimination and microaggression, illustrating the need for constant championing equal treatment (Wardecker et al., 2018).


The organization recognizes that LGBT older people are confronted with arrays of unique barriers and inequality that affect their health and life quality. Some of the LGBT more senior community’s challenges include prejudice, overreliance on informal social connections for care and support, and unfavorable laws and programs (Steelman, 2018). The organization’s primary way to contribute to public health and safety improvement for the elderly LGBQ is by providing cultural competency training to aging health providers. The training allows the providers to comprehend the unique needs of the convectional underserved population. By 2015, the NRC had trained more than 10000 individuals in all 50 states (SAGE, 2021). To support the objectives of improving LGBT health, NRC has a comprehensive training program. The program curriculum includes full and had day training for providers. The learning guides of the program include identifying health disparities between elderly LGBT and elderly non-LGBT, exploring assumptions, myths, and misinformation of diseases, and using role-play as a practice of how to provide effective feedback that addresses bias from staff to create a welcoming environment (Steelman, 2018).

The success of NRC for the LGBT elderly is achieved from the collaboration between various agencies. In conjunction with 30 affiliates in 50 states, the organization provides supportive services for LGBT and their caregivers and advocates (SAGE, 2021). While many consider LGBT elders as affluent individuals, they are less financially secure than American elders (Wardecker et al., 2018). Financially, government programs, housing subsidies, and access to affordable healthcare have enabled the elderly LGBT to avoid poverty. While the elderly LGBT are not entirely legally protected, the last decade has been a foundation to build equal rights and nondiscrimination (Redcay et al., 2019). Recent court rulings and legislature have reinforced the roles of NRC for the LGBT elderly. Human dignity extends to vulnerable populations such as the LGBT and aging within the social work profession context. The social work Code of ethics requires sufficient service based on competence, human respect, and an end to all forms of discrimination. The US Supreme Court’s decision to override the ban by states on same-sex allowed social security spousal and survivors’ benefits for the elderly LGBT and has encouraged more relief from benefit miscalculated before even the case decision. The 2016 Health care Rights Law recognizes intersectional discrimination offering a new avenue for elderly LGBT to challenge discrimination (SAGE, 2021). The organization has received a three-year grant and expanded to 23 collaboration organizations, including national organizations serving disabled individuals (SAGE, 2021). The primary source of funding for the organization is the US Department of Health and Human Services. Other funders include the Gil Foundation, Ameringen Foundation, reticent research Foundation, and generous individual donors

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Overall, NRC for the elderly LGBT illustrates promising results. The NRC competency training has reached thousands of aging service providers reducing the social stigma, prejudice, overreliance on informal social connections for care and support, and unequal treatment under the previous laws. For workers unavailable for the in-person training, the organization has developed other modalities that are more conducive to agencies that require LGBT aging information (Redcay et al., 2019). The NRC program expands the ability to recognize and validate negative experiences of elderly LGBT. Nurses can have a massive influence on the organization’s objectives. Nurses have a critical role as communication agents between patients, families, and physicians. In this regard, nurses have a unique opportunity to set the tone that ensures the LGBT elderly safety and comfort. Here, the nurses act as advocate and volunteer that encourages discrimination of the LGBT community facing the risk of isolation, hostility, and acceptance in the community


Doherty, M., Johnston, T. R., Meyer, H., & Giunta, N. (2016). SAGE’s national resource center on LGBT aging is training a culturally competent aging network. Generations40(2), 78-79.

SAGE. (2021). Advocacy and services for LGBT Elders.

Redcay, A., McMahon, S., Hollinger, V., Mabry-Kourt, H. L., & Cook, T. B. (2019). Policy recommendations to improve the quality of life for LGBT older adults. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work4(4), 267-274.

Wardecker, B. M., & Johnston, T. R. (2018). Seeing and supporting LGBT older adults’ caregivers and families.

Steelman, R. E. (2018). Person-centered care for LGBT older adults.