The UK is on course to have its first exclusively LGBT retirement home within three years.
According to BuzzFeed UK, London-based Tonic Housing is seeking to secure a site in either London or Brighton, to begin working on the ‘unashamedly ambitious project’.
There are at least 1 million LGBT people over the age in the UK, and the project, which is already in development will house up to 150 residents.
“If you don’t have your own children, and if you have fractured family relationships, which is a possibility, then you would not have the support networks that many older people count on,” says James Greenshields, of the directors of Tonic Housing. “So I thought, ‘What would happen to me?’ And then, ‘Well, what is there in the UK?’ I was really taken aback that although there are organisations for older LGBT people, in terms of care homes there is nothing at all. It was a shock. The need and the demand is out there.
“We want there to be a sense of it being an LGBT community hub, regardless of age,” Greenshields says, “so it would be a space where people would come because there might be a film club, exhibitions, or activities that would appeal to the LGBT community.”
The plan was inspired by care homes and facilities already in operation in Madrid and Berlin. Tonic Housing also plans to provide domiciliary care specifically for the older LGBT demographic. This would allow LGBT-trained care workers to come to people’s homes, rather than having to move into a residential facility.
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