LGBTI aged care centre a 'sanctuary' from prejudice

April 10, 2015

A suburb on Melbourne's city-fringe is expected to house Australia's first registered aged care facility catering predominantly for the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Intersex communities.
 

Plans have been announced for an aged care home in Melbourne catering for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) communities.

 

Aged care provider Lifeview has acquired a strategic corner site in the Melbourne city-fringe suburb of Prahran and hopes to commence construction on the site within two years.

 

"Trans people are telling us they're hiding gender diversity and lesbian and gay people are telling us they're hiding their sexual orientation so that they won't have to encounter discrimination"

 

Lifeview says it's still in the planning phase of the $5 million facility which will include aged care, retirement home and specialist dementia care services.

 

Lifeview chief executive Madeline Gall says it's "about providing a service that allows them to be exactly who they are without fear of discrimination".

 

Ms Gall says staff will be trained to provide "quality of life services" to the LGBTI community.

La Trobe University researcher Catherine Barrett has conducted several studies into LGBTI aging and says many take on demeaning behaviours when confronted with the prospect of entering existing aged care facilities.

 

"Trans people are telling us they're hiding gender diversity and lesbian and gay people are telling us they're hiding their sexual orientation so that they won't have to encounter discrimination," she says.

 

At 67, retiree Jamie Gardiner hopes the transition to an aged care facility is still a "way off." Nevertheless he understands the decision is crucial and carefully ponders the prospects.

 

"An aged care facility is home. Home should be a refuge and a sanctuary from the discrimination and prejudice of the outside world," Mr Gardiner says.

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