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Welcoming Diversity

There are many aspects of a life plan community to consider when choosing the right place for you. For example, you may focus on amenities, care services, floor plan options and social opportunities. As you search for senior living, you’ll also want to get a feel for the culture. Are the residents active? Does the staff get to know each other and the residents they serve? Are new ideas embraced? Perhaps most importantly, how does the community feel about diversity? Are they inclusive to those with different beliefs, backgrounds, gender identities and expressions, disabilities and sexual orientations?

Why Choose an Inclusive Community?

You should feel comfortable, accepted and valued for who you are. Ask the following questions to help determine whether a community is inclusive.

  • How do staff embrace inclusiveness and diversity? Do they receive training?
  • Do you have an anti-discrimination policy?
  • Does the community openly promote diversity and inclusion?
  • Do you have LGBTQ+ organizations, clubs and activities?
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Kendal at Oberlin is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Questions to ask about Inclusion

Kendal at Oberlin is a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and caring community focused on healthy aging. One of our founding Quaker values is to encourage and welcome everyone, without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or any other characteristic protected by law, to live in our communities and to serve on our staffs and boards. This means we not only accept and value differences, but we encourage them. We believe that a spirit and culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging strengthens communities, people and services.
We want everyone to feel comfortable being their authentic selves. How do we achieve this? Let’s dive into the questions to find out:

How do staff embrace inclusiveness and diversity? Do they receive training?

Yes! The Kendal at Oberlin team receives ongoing training and workshops on structural inclusion, non-judgmental inquiry, open communication, inclusion and diversity. In fact, Kendal at Oberlin has earned SAGECare accreditation, which illustrates our dedication to providing exemplary service to LGBTQ+ elders through staff training. We seek to create a welcoming environment and understand the culture, needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ older adults. Our community was also recognized as an LGBTQ+ Long-Term Care Equality High Performer, which means we have a solid foundation of non-discrimination policies and staff training. Additionally, Kendal at Oberlin has adopted best practices in resident services and support, employee benefits and policies, and resident and community engagement.

Do you have an anti-discrimination policy?

Yes! Kendal at Oberlin is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Here is our DEIB statement: Kendal at Oberlin residents, staff and volunteers have the right to feel accepted and included regardless of race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, marital status, or any other unique characteristic of one’s person. Anyone from the Kendal at Oberlin community who feels they have been discriminated against should report their complaint to the administration who will then fully investigate the claim and take the appropriate action.

Does the community openly promote diversity and inclusion?

Yes! Kendal at Oberlin celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month every June with resident panel discussions, special programs and other celebrations. Kendal at Oberlin is also part of the Kendal system-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee to continuously plan and facilitate education and training for staff and residents, workforce development, communications, programming, outreach and community, and transportation.

Do you have LGBTQ+ organizations, clubs and activities?

Yes! We have an LGBTQ+ Allies Interest Group. The group raises awareness, advocacy and support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other gender non-conforming residents, staff and allies at Kendal at Oberlin. The interest group has sponsored gay-themed movies, added books to the Kendal Library’s LGBTQ+ collection and organized small-group discussions and educational programs.

Residents have also organized a series of Racial Equity lectures, designed to examine racism and to create a more equitable future. As Kendal Community Outreach Director Kim Preston explains, “we want to hear diverse perspectives and learn and grow.”

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