“Little Acts of Love”: The Secret Ingredient to Supporting LGBTQ2+ Seniors and their Allies

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LGBTQ2+ older adults may experience significant barriers to healthcare that can make them reluctant to embrace their full identities while living in long-term care and community settings. The fear of discrimination may prevent them from seeking medical attention or disclosing their desires for advanced care if they are living with a chronic condition such as dementia. To address these challenges, Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow, Director of Spiritual Care at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, created Aging Out – a CABHI-supported initiative designed to disseminate best practices in LGBTQ2+ aging, health, and dementia care among front-line healthcare workers.

On this episode of CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast, Drs. Allison Sekuler and Rosanne Aleong sit down with Rabbi Sara to discuss her initiative and how it’s improving the lives of LGBTQ2+ seniors, while also creating more inclusive, welcoming communities across diverse cultural, racial, and generational divides.

Through Aging Out, LGBTQ2+ staff, residents and their family members are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and allies are better supported to advocate for those who may identify as LGBTQ2+.

Rabi Sara shares how “little acts of love” can empower all older adults to be their true selves and contribute to their communities with pride.

Listen to learn more about the Aging Out project and the way it’s transforming the lives of LGBTQ2+ seniors and their allies.


Learn more about our guest:

Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and currently serves as the Director of Spiritual Care at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), an assisted living community serving over 3,000 elders in the greater Boston area.  She is also the co-founder of the HSL Chaplaincy Institute, focused on spiritual care and aging, dementia care, and end-of-life care with an advanced unit offered in LGBTQ2+ aging. Rabbi Sara leads an LGBTQ2+ aging initiative at HSL, working to create welcoming and excellent healthcare services and community housing for LGBTQ2+ elders.  She is the author of many articles on Jewish chaplaincy and aging, and the co-author, with Rabbi Joel Baron, of Deathbed Wisdom of the Hasidic Masters: The Book of Departures and Caring for People at the End of Life.

To learn more about Hebrew SeniorLife, visit www.hebrewseniorlife.org/