By Lynn O’Connor, Ingleside President and CEO
When I reflect on the almost 42years I’ve committed to aging services, I often consider the many social and cultural changes that have emerged through the years, dramatically shaping the profession and the immense progress that those changes often brought with them.
As we continue into 2023 and beyond, I want to talk about another important cultural acceptance shift that has and continues to take place, both across the country as well as within Ingleside’s life plan communities and Ingleside at Home located in Washington D.C. region.
Specifically, I’m talking about the Ingleside family’s principles and ongoing recognition, support, and commitment to cultivating an environment that highlights and embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion for the entire LGBTQ+ community..
Ingleside’s commitment to these principles is exemplified by its valued partnership with SAGECare, the cultural competency, training, and consulting division of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults.
This partnership has evolved into a new cornerstone of strength for the Ingleside family, as each of Ingleside’s three communities has succeeded in meeting the requirements for SAGECare Platinum Certification.
Furthermore, Ingleside has spent years encouraging and supporting a small but growing and vibrant LGBTQ+ community across each of its campuses. Examples of this support have come to include LGBTQ+ history lectures, Pride Month events, and celebrating special life moments in which one resident couple was able to finally legally marry after enjoying a loving partnership for decades.
The Ingleside family collaborate with the LGBTQ+ community, and this partnership helps illustrate Ingleside’s passion to continue expanding education and advocacy for the gay community on behalf of the residents we serve every day as well as our dedicated staff who make the Ingleside family missions possible.
One very special member of the Ingleside team who has been critical in this mission is Cody Christian, the Accreditation and Quality Improvement Manager for Ingleside. In this role, Cody works to make sure all Ingleside communities continue to meet the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) standards of the SAGE organization.
Having spent years working his way up through the aging services profession as a gay man, Cody’s journey continues to be an inspirational one that illustrates the true potential for community improvement through inclusivity and understanding across different lifestyles as well as different generations of people. As someone who has been inspired and uplifted by his work, I would be honored if you would take a few minutes to follow the link here and take the time to get to know Cody’s story yourself. He was recently featured in The Washington Blade.