Manchester City Council has announced plans to open the UK’s first retirement centre that will cater specifically to the area’s aging LGBT+ community.
The council made the decision after a recent report released by the LGBT Foundation showed elderly LGBT people were more likely to experience discrimination, loneliness and isolation in their old age.
Participants in the study also expressed a “desire for affordable, accessible LGBT specific accommodation where they can be open about their identity in later life”.
Paul Martin, chief executive of LGBT Foundation told Pink News that the announcement was a “significant move towards improving the lives of LGBT people in the area.”
“Our research highlighted that over half of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people over 55 surveyed felt that their sexual orientation would have a negative impact on getting older, with social isolation identified as a major concern.”
Manchester City Councillor Bev Craig said the project will aim to provide an environment free of prejudice and discrimination.
“People shouldn’t have to face the prospect as they get older of being surrounded by people who may not accept their sexuality or gender identity,” said Craig.
“Older people should never feel isolated by who they are, or who they love. Alongside improving this in general provision, it is time that we develop a scheme in Manchester that provides care for LGBT people, providing a place where the LGBT community can give each other a network of support in older age.”
Staff at the new retirement centre will be specially trained on LGBT issues to effectively provide support and care to residents.
The centre will welcome heterosexual retirees— but the number will be capped to ensure that at least 51 per cent of the home’s population will be from the LGBT community.
A specific site and launch date is yet to be announced.