SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new California law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown late Wednesday aims to ensure that the state’s LGBT seniors get respectful and competent elder care by integrating LGBT cultural competency instruction into training received by residential care facility administrators.
Assembly Bill 663 was authored by state Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and sponsored by Equality California and the California Senior Legislature.
“Today marks a victory for the ever-growing LGBT population in our state and nation,” said Gomez, in a statement.
“LGBT seniors will now receive the care and respect they deserve. By 2030 there will be an estimated 3 million LGBT seniors in the United States,” he said. “I am proud that California will lead the nation in preparing our caretakers to properly care for this growing demographic.”
Nationwide, there are an estimated 1.5 million LGBT seniors, with that number projected to double by 2030. This is also the first generation to navigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on aging and health.
By integrating cultural competency training for residential care administrators into the normal set of classes, LGBT seniors will worry less about being forced back into the closet, according to Equality California (EQCA).
“LGBT pioneers should live out their final years with dignity – not go back in the closet for fear of discrimination,” said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director.
Brown signed a number of other LGBT-related bills this week, including one that requires health plans to offer equal fertility coverage for same-sex couples, and another to make it easier for transgender Californians to obtain birth certificates reflecting name and gender changes.