Kendal at Oberlin Demonstrates Commitments to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)

Strategic Plan Launches New DEIB Initiatives

Providing Ongoing Education in DEIB Principles for Staff and Residents

In 2022, Kendal at Oberlin set out to achieve the SAGECare certification and the LEI recognition, both testaments to a community’s commitment to serving LGBTQ+ residents with the care and compassion they deserve. This initiative, a priority for the campus, was pushed forward by the 2022 Affiliate Grant funds provided by Kendal Charitable Funds, which covered the entirety of the certification process.

In June 2023, the campus was designated as a “LGBTQ+ Long-Term Care Equality High Performer” in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and SAGE’s Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI). The LEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of residential long-term care and senior housing communities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ residents, visitors and employees. Notably, Kendal at Oberlin is the only senior housing provider in Lorain County to be recognized in the LEI program.

The LEI measures multiple policy and practice areas as benchmarks of LGBTQ+ inclusion in senior housing settings, including non-discrimination and staff training, resident services and support, employee benefits and policies, and resident and community engagement. More information on the LEI is available here.

Additionally, Kendal at Oberlin began the SAGECare training and certification process in early 2023. This annual credentialing process signifies and prepares a campus to understand the unique needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ older adults. It also allows communities to be equipped to provide the best possible person-directed care.

In September, Kendal at Oberlin was awarded the SAGECare Platinum Status! This status celebrates various milestones, including 80% of management completing four hours of SAGECare LGBTQ+ Training and 80% of non-management staff completing one hour of SAGECare training. Residents at Kendal at Oberlin also participated, some of whom are part of the LGBTQ+A Interest Group on campus.

Additional funds, provided by Kendal Charitable Funds in an extension of the Affiliate Grants, will allow Kendal at Oberlin to move forward with consultation on areas for improvement and for added community engagement in DEIB initiatives.

A Tangible Difference

Terry Kovach, Director of Sales and Marketing, shared the significant changes that completing the LEI survey prompted at the community, “We made changes to campus statements of diversity and updated signage that signaled we are a welcoming community to staff and residents.” She also shared that the SAGECare training provided a new perspective for staff and provided an overall better understanding of the experiences of LGBTQ+ older adults today and throughout their lives.

Funds provided by Kendal Charitable Funds

Kendal believes that a spirit of inclusion and a culture of diversity enrich and strengthen communities, people and services. Creating this environment requires concentrated efforts and is the shared responsibility of each community and team member.

Kendal Charitable Funds, incorporated in 1989, supports the charitable goals and aspirations of The Kendal Corporation, its network of affiliates and the wider world of aging. The 2022 Affiliate Grant program supported Kendal affiliates in areas focused on increasing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging, particularly among employees. Each month, we plan to share a story from a Kendal affiliate to highlight the strides they made in DEIB initiatives related to the workforce.