Many LGBT seniors do not feel safe in disclosing their sexual identity or orientation to mainstream healthcare providers, for fear of discrimination. Indeed, many LGBT seniors feel isolated in nursing homes. In order to provide further options and support to the LGBT community, various initiatives and projects exist throughout the country. The following are just some resources that exist for seniors in Toronto and Montreal.
The City of Toronto, in an attempt to remove the barriers to accessing the healthcare system faced by LGBT seniors, created a “toolkit” in order to assist staff in long-term care homes in order to “…enhance, understanding, sensitivity and responsiveness about LGBT issues, educate staff and provide advice in care and service design in order to be LGBT-positive, inclusive and welcoming to all residents”
The 519 Community Centre is a community centre with a special focus on LGBT programming. The centre hosts a variety of programming and works to include programming designed to meet the needs of the older LGBT community.
The Sherbourne Health Centre offers a wide range of primary health care programs and services to LBGT individuals, with a goal of providing services in a dignified, non-judgmental way.
Fudger House is a long-term care home in Toronto that focuses on providing an environment that is gay-positive; it works under the belief that everyone at the residence has a right to quality care that respects their culture, ethno-racial background, family tradition, community, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, spiritual beliefs and traditions.
Montreal will be the home to Maison Urbaine (Urban Home), a series of residence for autonomous and semi-autonomous gay men. As well, the developers are planning similar developments in other North American cities, according to the website www.senioractu.com, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are some possibilities for future Canadian projects.
As well, L’ARC (inés et retraités de la communauté) and Habitations les II volets will be working as partners in the construction of a seniors residence for the older LGBT community. According to the L’ARC website it is a non-profit endeavor that will be funded in part by various levels of government.