Frequently Asked Questions about SAGECare and LGBT Advocacy

Your staff treats all of your care recipients the same. Why is this important?

Your mission is to serve people with the highest level of person-directed care. Treating everyone the same will only work if everyone is the same – with the same needs, concerns, hopes and fears. That approach usually doesn’t account for the critical and unique needs and concerns of many people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBTQ+) people. LGBTQ+ older adults may interact very differently with providers as a result of their histories, personal experiences, and life narratives — which are often very different from non-LGBTQ+ people.

When your staff understand the lived experiences of others, they will provide even more compassionate and truly person-directed care for your LGBTQ+ — and other diverse – community members.

Beyond providing the best person-directed care, are there other reasons to pay close attention to the LGBTQ+ population?

When you’re providing person-directed care, you’re helping all of your community live authentically. It’s great for your community. And what’s great for your community members is great for business. Consider this:

  • The LGBTQ+ market today has a combined purchasing power of $830+ billion
  • 72% of the LGBTQ+ market feel it is extremely/very important to buy from “gay-friendly” companies
  • The LGBTQ+ older adult population is expected to grow from ~3 million in 2015 to ~7 million by 2030
  • While 80% of the general population rely on legal- or blood-related family members for caregiving, LGBTQ+ people are twice as likely to live alone and four times less likely to have children. Their reliance on long-term care services is potentially steep. Yet, when surveyed, nearly 9 out of 10 people feared discrimination in long-term care settings if providers knew their sexual orientation or gender identities.

What is SAGECare and what does it mean to be a part of it?

SAGECare is SAGE’s training and consulting division. SAGECare provides an opportunity to expand, transform and elevate the person-directed services that your agency already provides. We partner with your agency to deliver the tools needed to create an even greater culture of dignity and respect for all clients, including those who are LGBTQ+. And we provide your agency with the added benefit of a national credential – a symbol that will help you convey that you are welcoming, inclusive and prepared to work with:

… LGBTQ+ consumers
… LGBTQ+ family members and friends who provide caregiving to your non-LGBTQ+ consumers
… and even your own LGBTQ+ staff.

How are SAGECare and SAGE related?

SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders) is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national nonprofit organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers and advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBTQ+ older people. With offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 29 local SAGE affiliates in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

SAGECare is SAGE’s training and consulting division. Along with providing training and consulting on LGBTQ+ aging issues, SAGECare offers the added benefit that qualifying agencies may receive a national credential to highlight the percentage of staff trained.

Any agency that is trained by SAGE’s national organization is potentially eligible to receive a SAGECare credential.

What does a SAGECare credential indicate?

A SAGECare credential indicates that a provider has completed training on LGBTQ+ aging by SAGECare Leadership or Certified Trainers, using SAGE-certified curricula.* Agencies that have earned a credential are listed on the SAGECare website and are able to use the SAGECare credential seal on communications, advertising, and websites as specified by an agreed upon Licensing Agreement.

(*Some agencies may have received training from SAGE-approved organizations between July 1, 2014 – December 31, 2015. If your agency has received training between those dates and are interested in a credential, please contact us!)

How can we earn a SAGECare credential?

An agency wanting to earn a credential will need to work with SAGECare staff to execute the following, on an annual basis:

  Bronze Platinum
1 Hour of LGBT Aging Training (in-person or digitally) 50% of Management and Employees


80% of Employees
4 Hours of LGBT Aging Training (in-person)/ or 4 Hours of State of the Agency consulting (in-person) 80% of Exec./

Employees include:

Any employee who is employed directly by the credentialed agency in either a part-time or full-time capacity who is not captured in the Executives/Administrators definition.

Executives/Administrators include:

Executive senior leadership such as: CEO, COO, CFO, Corporate Compliance Officer, Nursing Home Administrator, Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, Medical Director, and,  Directors such as: Social Services, Human Resources, Administrative Services, Resident Services (Coordinator or Director), Nursing, Activities/Programs, Admissions/Registration, In-Service Training, Facility Services, Courtesy Services, Health/Wellness/Nutrition, Marketing, Development, Community Liaison/Volunteer Coordinator

… and any other Executives/Administrators with similar substitute titles as defined by the agency.

Learn more about the content of the learning products here.

How can my small organization go beyond Bronze?

SAGECare trainers do not usually facilitate in-person trainings for groups of less than 10 people. Small organizations can fulfill their four-hour training requirement by taking four of our one-hour online trainings. These specialized trainings cover a comparable amount of material and will qualify your organization to move beyond the Bronze level. Contact us for more information or to start your online training.

We were trained by SAGE already. Can we earn a credential?

Maybe! If your staff received training from SAGE Certified Trainers between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015, get in touch with us and let us know!

How are SAGECare trainings facilitated?

The 1-hour trainings can all be accessed via a digital training platform or in-person training, subject to agreement between SAGECare and your agency.

All 4-hour trainings and State of the Agency sessions are facilitated in-person and at your work site by SAGE Certified Trainers. SAGE will work with your agency to find a schedule and delivery method that works for your needs and fits within staff schedules.

What content is covered in a training?

1 Hour Training for Employees/Staff provides an overview of the needs, concerns and unique history of LGBTQ+ older adults, as well as meaningful action steps that staff can take immediately to improve the quality of supports and services they provide. This course is designed to be suitable for all levels of employees and can be delivered in-person, via live webinar, or through a digital training platform.

4 hours Training for Executives/Administrators provides an in-person learning experience designed to help executives/administrators/leadership understand the cultures, needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ older adults. Best practices intended to be implemented in system-wide improvements across multiple departments such as outreach and intake, programming, policy and procedures, marketing, facilities, staff and board recruitment, and more.

State of the Agency (4 hours total) is a bi-annual consulting session for Executives/Administrators who have completed the Comprehensive training and may include things such as a review of key LGBTQ+ cultural competency information, updates on the legal landscape for LGBTQ+ older adults, reflections on successes and difficulties in implementing SAGECare’s best practices, and other relevant topics.

Specialized Topics (1 hour each) cover specific topics including: LGBTQ+ Older Adults of Color; Transgender Aging; Preventing Anti-LGBTQ+ Bias between Constituents; and Asking Demographic Questions about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. These courses are designed to be suitable for all levels of employees and can be delivered in-person, via live webinar, or through a digital training platform. These trainings may also satisfy the 1-hour training requirement.

How much does it cost?

There are a number of variables that go into the cost including such things as staff size, geographic location, type of agency, and many more. SAGECare is a nonprofit social enterprise so we are proud to offer extremely high-quality services at reasonable costs to the agency. Please contact us directly to learn more.

How long do we have to earn a credential?

The SAGECare credential requirements must be met annually, with staff receiving at least one hour of training every year, and the four-hour training repeated every four years.

When can we start using the credential?

A credentialed agency may use the credential within a month of completing the requirements for a credential, and upon signing of the Licensing Agreement.

Note that SAGE reserves the right to revoke, or not grant, a credential if, under very unusual circumstances, SAGE does not deem the agency ready. In those rare instances, SAGE will be in close communication with the agency to collectively decide on steps to remedy the issue so that the agency may earn and display the credential.

How long is the credential valid for?

In the first year that you earn a SAGECare credential, it is valid for the year in which it is earned as well as the following calendar year.

Is there an annual requirement to keep a SAGECare credential?

The annual credential requirements are as follows;

For Employees: one-hour of training is required each year. There are several different specialized topics to choose from, that are update yearly.

For Executives/Administrators: To earn a Silver, Gold or Platinum credential, executive and administrative staff must complete four hours of training every three years. If there are no significant changes to executive staff during that time, SAGE can conduct a tailored, refresher and coaching session for executive leadership, instead of repeating the four-hour training.

SAGECare Platinum Agency Sample Recredentialing Schedule

Year 1

  • 80% of all employees complete 1 hour of training.
  • 80% of all executives/administrators complete a four-hour in-person training.

Years 2 and 3

  • 80% of all management and employees complete 1 hour of training.

We have earned a SAGECare credential but want to move up. Can we change levels?

Yes! Your agency may earn a higher credential level if you meet the relevant training requirements for the higher level during the annual calendar cycle.

Can we receive Continuing Education Units (CEU) credit for SAGECare training?

Maybe! If you are interested in CEU credit, you must let SAGECare staff know of your interest before scheduling or participating in training. Our trainings have been granted CEU credit by various professional credentialing organizations across the country. With enough planning, SAGE can work with your agency to obtain relevant CEU approvals before beginning of training.

Does SAGECare training count for the HRC's Healthcare Equality Index training requirements?

Yes. SAGECare trainings are eligible to count towards the on-going LGBT education training requirement of the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).  In order to receive HEI credit, the facility participating in the HEI survey must submit a training report from SAGE to HRC using this online submission form.

Is the SAGECare credential different than the SAGE and HRC Foundation Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI)?

The training credential through SAGECare complement the LEI. The LEI is an assessment tool that helps residential long-term care communities measure the extent to which they are providing culturally competent care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) older adults. SAGECare credentialed residential providers who are interested in assessing their policies and best practices and also being a recognized leader through LEI are encouraged to learn more at www.TheLEI.org.

For SAGECare clients participating in the LEI, SAGECare trainings will count towards the training requirements in the LEI.

Additionally, after completing the LEI Self-Assessment, SAGECare offers a consulting package to review the Self-Assessment and match your agency with one of our SAGECare team members who can work with you in implementing the best practices identified through the LEI Self-Assessment.

Who has earned the SAGECare credential so far?

Take a look here to see who has earned a SAGECare credential to date.

What about training new hires?

We can work with your organization to build SAGECare training into staff onboarding.

Does the SAGECare credential guarantee LGBTQ+ aging competency?

The outcomes and impacts of SAGECare training are evaluated by an independent third party and have been shown to be highly effective in creating positive changes in participants’’ knowledge, attitudes and skills. However, no amount of training can ever guarantee that a person will always act in a certain way. So, while SAGECare training has strong indications of improving cultural competency, we cannot guarantee it.

Is SAGECare affiliated with the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging?

SAGE is the lead organization running the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging (NRC), a project that is funded largely by the U.S. Administration for Community Living.  The NRC is the country’s first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to LGBTQ+ older adults.

While SAGE manages both the NRC and SAGECare, they operate independently and with different areas of focus. The NRC focuses on providing resources, news and information to LGBTQ+ people via its website, through technical assistance, and by providing training to organizations that are funded through the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Agencies that receive training through the NRC may be eligible to receive SAGECare credentials, provided they meet the requirements.