How to have the LGBTQ+ Talk – 6 tips to start the conversation
As we celebrate Pride month we celebrate equality, protecting human rights, understanding, acceptance and increased visibility for LGBTQ+ individuals. As with all celebrations, Pride month has a history – one that senior living residents may not be aware of. Before we ask for understanding and acceptance, we need to create the space for discussion, learning and growth.
Here are 6 tips for facilitating the conversation:
- Make it relatable: People are more likely to understand a topic if it is made relatable to them. One topic that may make the LGBTQ+ community relatable for residents is Ageism. Ask if anyone has ever been denied opportunity because of their age? Ever been forced to retire or leave a job either for early retirement or a lack of skills? Invite residents to share their personal experiences before drawing similarities to discrimination faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Focus on Love: Make sure the conversation stays positive. Focus on equality and the importance of protecting all human rights, talk about the importance of being able to love who you chose.
- Time: Realize that understanding will take time and most likely multiple conversations. Start with acknowledgement but remember there is a difference between acknowledgement and understanding. It will take more than one discussion for understanding to take place.
- Personal Experience: once you’ve created a safe space for discussion, talk about real life, personal experiences. Do residents have friends, family, children or grandchildren that belong to the LGBTQ+ community? Allow them to share their journeys, maybe invite some of the family members to be part of the discussion.
- Growth: Remember that from resident to resident the understanding of the topic will vary so growth will look different for everyone. This could be a very new concept to one resident while another has already been involved in the community. No matter where a resident starts, celebrate the growth and understanding that you help them achieve.
- Respect: This is a very personal subject so make sure to set ground rules around the conversation. Everyone must respect each other’s opinions and stories. You want to create a safe and open space where people feel they can ask questions yet remain respectful.
If you don’t feel comfortable leading a discussion like this, ask if there is someone in your community who is. Involving associates from different departments will allow for more authentic storytelling and may lead to better understanding. If you have someone in your community who is willing to share their story, let them. Sometimes the best way to explain the power of love and being able to love who you chose is to hear it firsthand as a love story, another thing most residents can relate to!
Working at a Northbridge senior living community
If you are considering a career in senior living, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities. Our team of associates makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents, every day. Because of that, we treat our team like family and we’re happy to offer:
- Competitive Pay
- Flexible Schedules
- Direct Deposit
- Vacation & Personal Days
- Paid Holidays & Sick Time
- Your Birthday Off
- Health Insurance to Qualified Associates
- 401k Company Match
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Ongoing Education
- Associate Appreciation
View our careers website today to view open positions, what a day working at Northbridge is like, and why our associates love to work here.
As a New England senior living company, we pride ourselves in being the local choice for families in need of assisted living or memory care. We look to our teams of associates to truly make our communities home for our residents. Whether that’s a helping hand or a moment to listen to a story, our associates are dedicated and compassionate. With 18 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we hope you’ll find your home here too. If you already love what you do, and want to love where you work, apply now! We look forward to meeting you.