Plan to build gay aged care village

Plan to build gay aged care village

A private consortium is looking at building the state’s first gay-friendly retirement village.

Community members nutted out some of the intricacies of the project at a focus group held last Wednesday. The community-style village for the over 55s will cater for gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex people and their friends.

Project facilitator Craig Wright said traditional health and ageing services were not always relevant to the queer community.

“People from my generation have little choice but to be pushed back into the closet in old age,” he said.

The gay-friendly village, Wright added, would allow the elders of our community to continue leading openly gay lives.

The village was likely to be situated within an hour of the city, on the north coast. It would include a golf course and walking tracks, and would provide access to both Eastern and Western medicine.

Funding would be sourced from within the queer community, Wright said, and the profits would be fed back into GLBTIQ health projects.

“The ageing debate has been lost to the HIV debate, so nobody has been focusing on ageing gay people,” Wright said.

“There are people who have had gender reassignments who may need access to specific services, and women’s health for lesbians can be different from what it is for straight women.”

Sue Tye, a participant in last week’s focus group, said members of the queer community had long talked about the need for a gay-friendly retirement village.

“We do have a real sense of community and I think we want to keep that in our older years,” she said.

“While I do think the challenges we face as we get older are very similar to those faced by heterosexuals, people may be happier to stay within their own community.”

Mature Age Gays president Erroll Higson said elders in the GLBTIQ community would welcome a gay-friendly retirement village.

He said Mature Age Gays members had little choice but to go to traditional nursing homes in their retirement.

The second retirement home workshop will be held this month. For more information phone Craig Wright on 0418 444 040 or email [email protected].

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