08 Sep 2022
Artis Senior Living of Lakeview Walks the Talk on Honoring LGBTQ+ Residents with Memory Care Issues
I believe that one of the most important gifts you can give someone with Memory Care issues is to continue to honor the strides that they made while they were fully able-minded. For us, it has been a journey of love and inclusion.
At Artis Senior Living of Lakeview, we have a resident named Pat in our Memory Care Community. Pat was Director of Constitutional Litigation at Lambda Legal, and later appointed to the Illinois Bench. She fought for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people, HIV+ rights, same sex gay adoption rights, and equality in schools, among many other things.
Pat was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in her fifties, which quickly brought an end to her ability to enforce laws of protection. We, as her community, have a responsibility to ensure that she is treated by respect by ALL that interact with her, and to honor her accomplishments. One of the ways we have done this is by becoming SAGECare credentialed
It was a natural decision that we initially thought would affect some of our Residents. We are now seeing firsthand that it not only impacts our LGBTQ+ residents, but our allies, staff, and family members as well! The effects go beyond just knowing how to use proper pronouns; it has made our culture brighter. There is a thoughtful conversation that happens when discussing what would make a resident feel comfortable and respected. SAGECare is a part of our everyday philosophy to honor the uniqueness that encompasses each resident, and to celebrate the attributes that make you who you are.
Being SAGECare credentialed, also prompted us to link with the Center on Halsted, and to join Chicago’s Market Days, a weekend long live music street festival which celebrates Chicago’s landmark LGBTQ+ Northalsted/Lakeview district. There, we were able to say that we are a LGBTQ+ friendly Assisted Living and Memory Care community.
Our website represents how we feel, we are proud to embrace not just Pat, but every LGBTQ+ resident, staff, and Allie’s. SAGECare certified has opened a door to an outpouring of discussion and thoughtful acts of acceptance.
By Molly Hayes, Director of Community Relations for Artis Senior Living of Lakeview