We all try to delay aging in as much as we can. We try different skin care regimens, take anti-aging supplements or eat healthily to make sure we can put off aging for as long as we could. Unfortunately, aging is but a normal process and that’s where all of us are headed later in life.
The trend nowadays is for the elderly to stay in retirement homes when they can no longer manage to live independently by themselves, often because they have harsh medical problems.. But what happens if you are a member of the LGBT group? The same thing applies, actually, and you can stay in most retirement homes along with the straight male and female elderly but wouldn’t it be more fun to stay in an LGBT-friendly retirement home/ community that understand pretty well what it’s like to live the life of the queer.
A senior living facility in development aimed at providing a place for LGBTQ Houstonians is a one-of-a-kind project for Texas and any red other state.
Kent Loftin, chief development officer for the Montrose Center, said There’s No Place Like Home is a nearly $24 million project that could break ground as early as 2018.
“It will be the only center in Houston that is LGBTQ culturally competent. What that means is that seniors of the same sex can retire and age together,” he said.
The Montrose Center, an LGBTQ resource organization, is leading the project. The planned 112-unit retirement facility will include traditional retirement home amenities and an activity center.
“In the LGBTQ community, our seniors are particularly vulnerable. They are twice as likely as their heterosexual peers to not have any surviving social connections,” Loftin said.
Loftin said gay seniors have challenges; many were not able to develop open relationships and families in their younger years and they struggle once they reach retirement. That coupled with rising rent in the Montrose neighborhood, an historic hub for gay culture in Houston, has placed a burden on many reaching retirement age in the local LGBTQ community.
The LGBT population is growing. Wherever you go, there are open gays and lesbians who enjoy the freedom of being able to express their sexual identity without fear or shame. But because they almost always fail to build their own family, they grow old alone and without loved ones to care for them.
San Diego’s first affordable housing development geared toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors has seen a flood of interest, with a sign-up list filling up in less than two weeks.
Nonprofit developer Community Housing Works broke ground on the project in North Park last summer. When it is completed, the project will offer 75 studios, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartments to people 55 years or older who earn 60 percent or less of the area median income. That means an income of less than $36,000 for a one-person household.
Project manager Sylvia Martinez said 250 people signed up for the interest list when it opened on May 1, and that the list reached its cap of 500 on Wednesday. Selection will be through a randomized lottery.
“There was a lot of pent up demand in this community, and people have been waiting for this kind of project for a long time,” Martinez said. “North Park is one of the historic hearts of the gay and lesbian community in San Diego, and many folks are getting priced out of this neighborhood now as it gentrifies.”
We love gays, right? They liven up every event we are in and they don’t run out of jokes to brighten up our days. Gays and lesbians don’t usually have offspring of their own. They may have relationships with the same sex but they don’t always last and they often end up without a family or a home in their old age.
They can stay in retirement homes like everyone else but they will feel more at home living in facilities specifically for the LGBT community that understands what they went through in life and can provide the comfort and support they need in their old age. Their lives weren’t easy as well in their younger years as they battle the stigma of their sexual orientation and face the mockery of other people. So, living in a retirement home that is free of retirement discrimination is a welcome reprieve for the aging LGBT people who only want to live as normally and comfortable as the others in the twilight of their years.