In this episode of OutBüro Voices featuring LGBTQ professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from around the world, host Dennis Velco chats with Jennifer Henius and Zander Keig founders of the LGBTQ Caregiver Center.
Jennifer has a long history of working in the caregiving space at the national headquarters for the US Veterans Affairs where she was in a leadership role within the caregiver support program. In that role, she worked on public policy including LGBTQ policy and the caregiver education and training curriculum where she worked to integrate LGBTQ awareness and sensitivity into the training curriculum. She is a licensed clinical social worker and healthcare consultant.
Zander and Jennifer initially met through LinkedIn and soon realized their common interests. As covered in our past interview with Zander, we discussed his past military experience, and his past work at the US Veterans Affairs as well. Both Jennifer and Zander are caregivers for family members who are also US Veterans.
The LGBTQ Caregiver Center provides resources, education, and services to empower LGBTQ Caregivers and those who care for LGBTQ people to improve their health, mental health, and wellness. The LGBTQ Caregiver Center is founded and directed by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals, advocates and allies. Caregiving is a major public health concern that impacts more than 53 million adults in the USA. Caregiving is far more common among LGBTQ individuals than cisgender or heterosexual adults. Caregiving can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially exhausting. Maintaining your health and wellness is essential.
Their mission is to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ Caregivers and those who care for LGBTQ individuals, empower LGBTQ Caregivers to live with pride and dignity, and serve as a conduit for education, wellness, training, and research. The Center provides information and resources, delivers training and innovative services to enhance the health and wellness of LGBTQ Caregivers.
Learn more at https://lgbtqcaregivers.org/
Jennifer shares that past studies have not been inclusive yet recently organizations that conduct studies have realized the need to be fully inclusive and are now taking great measures to include the LGBTQ community. Further, advisory board members of the LGBTQ Caregiver Center are medical doctors who are experts on LGBTQ healthcare disparity.
We chat about some of the unique needs of LGBTQ caregivers such as having to be a caregiver for a loved one that does not accept them for who they are. Zander shared his personal situation of caregiving for his father who has dementia and as a transgender person having to share his personal information with personnel at the assisted living facility in case his father starts to inquire about his daughter.
Jennifer shares how many LGBTQ seniors who need assistance in-home or at care centers often return to the closet out of fear of discrimination, harassment, and the potential of care refusal. We discussed the need for LGBTQ training and certification for those organizations.
Be sure to check out your Caregiver Rights: https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregivers-bill-rights/
To connect with Zander find him on OutBüro here. https://outburo.com/profile/zanderkeig/
Join me and Bruce on OutBüro, the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur online community network for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, allies, and our employers who support LGBTQ welcoming workplace equality-focused benefits, policies, and business practices. https://www.OutBuro.com
Would you like to be featured like this? Contact the host Dennis Velco. https://outburo.com/profile/dennisvelco/