Majority Of Americans Comfortable With Openly Gay Seniors In Assisted Living Facilities

September 12th, 2014 By Jackie Larena-Lacayo

MIAMI – September 12, 2014 – Miami Jewish Health Systems recently conducted a Harris Poll and found that two out of three Americans – some 67% – would be at least somewhat to very comfortable moving into an assisted living facility for seniors that also houses openly gay couples.

“This is a pleasant surprise,” says Brian J. Kiedrowski, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Miami Jewish Health Systems, one of the largest healthcare providers for seniors in the southeast. “It tells us that Americans are becoming more accepting of people’s beliefs and lifestyles.”

Miami Jewish Health Systems, which includes independent and assisted living facilities as well as skilled nursing facilities, is inclusive of all people regardless of religion or sexual orientation. That’s why the organization is conducting extensive outreach to the gay community.

“A lot of gay couples don’t have children and they may actually need our services more than others,” says Dr. Kiedrowski. “We know that they face the same challenges when it comes to aging with dignity and we want LGBT seniors to know we offer a full range of psychological and medical support, as well as housing options.”

The Harris Poll was conducted June 4-6 and results varied only slightly among geographies and age groups. Of those surveyed, Westerners and Midwesterners appeared to be the most tolerant, with 69% of respondents in both groups saying that they would be somewhat to very comfortable moving into an assisted living facility with openly gay couples, while that number dropped to just 68% of respondents from the Northeast and down to 62% among respondents from the South. When broken out among age groups, the numbers varied from 60% at the low end to 71% at the high end, from 65+ and the age groups of 18-34 and 35-44, respectively.

Of those surveyed, some 30% reported that they would be “very comfortable” living in a facility that housed openly gay couples, 21% said they would be “comfortable,” while 15% said they would be “somewhat comfortable”. Just 16% of those surveyed said they would be “not at all comfortable” with 17% opting out of the survey.

Miami Jewish Health Systems is one of the most innovative healthcare providers in the United States.  More information is available at www.miamijewishhealth.org.

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