More Gay-Friendly Senior Housing Needed: Advocates

Gay seniors fear mistreatment by health care workers and residents of elder housing facilities if their sexual orientation is known

By KATHY MATHESON
|  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:15 PM EDT
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Gay-Friendly Senior Housing Needed: Advocates

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Elder advocates say a lack of gay-friendly affordable housing for seniors is leading many to hide their sexual orientation after years of being open about it.

Gay seniors fear discrimination, disrespect or worse by health care workers and residents of elder housing facilities.

Experts say the issue is becoming more urgent as baby boomers begin turning 65 this year. They say the gay elder population is expected to double, to at least 3 million, by 2030.

The nation's first gay-friendly affordable housing facility opened in Los Angeles six years ago and has a waiting list of hundreds. A group in Philadelphia hopes to replicate that success.

Yet advocates say construction alone won't solve the problem. They say sensitivity training at existing facilities and programs is the best solution.

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