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MARION, OhioUnited Church Homes, a national senior living provider based in Marion, Ohio, and four of its regional communities have individually earned Platinum certification in SAGECare, cultural competency training for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The certification, which will be valid for the remainder of 2017 and the 2018 calendar year, comes from Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, commonly known as SAGE. The SAGECare program trains residential healthcare providers and others that work with and advocate for older adults. 

“Many LGBT older adults may be uncomfortable or fearful being open about their identity or relationships. SAGECare training is a way to communicate that your community is invested in their well-being,” said Tim R. Johnston, Ph.D., director of National Projects at SAGE.

“SAGECare Platinum communities have trained at least 80 percent of their staff using SAGECare content, which means eight out of every 10 people that LGBT elder interacts with will have completed at least an hour of LGBT cultural competency training.”

United Church Homes’ Fairhaven Community (Upper Sandusky, Ohio), Harmar Place (Marietta, Ohio), Parkvue Community (Sandusky, Ohio) and Trinity Community (Beavercreek, Ohio) individually earned Platinum certification, meaning 80 percent of their employees completed one hour of LGBT aging training and 80 percent of executives and administrators completed four hours of LGBT aging training or four hours of “State of the Agency” consulting by SAGE.

Communities that earned gold-level certification (60 percent of employees, executives and administrators trained) were Four Winds Community (Jackson, Ohio) and Patriot Ridge Community (Fairborn, Ohio). Silver-level certification, with 40 percent of employees, executives and administrators trained, went to Chapel Hill Community (Canal Fulton, Ohio), Glenwood Community (Marietta, Ohio) and Pilgrim Manor (Grand Rapids, Michigan). 

United Church Homes also earned Platinum certification for 80 percent of its 1,800 staff members participating in the training the first time it was offered. 

The only other organization in Ohio that is SAGECare-certified is the Alzheimer’s Association, with four of its regional offices having earned the Bronze-level certification. In Michigan, Pilgrim Manor joins six other agencies in its commitment to affirming and celebrating LGBT individuals.

By completing the training, United Church Homes and its senior living communities have demonstrated their commitment to affirm LGBT residents, staff members and all others who step onto its campuses. It is another step in the process that began in 2012 with United Church Homes becoming the first health and human services agency in the United Church of Christ to earn the Open and Affirming designation.

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About United Church Homes: United Church Homes, based in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving 4,700 residents of all faiths in 72 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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