Today, there are over three million people who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community who are 55 years old or older. That number is expected to double by the year 2030. When looking for where to spend their retirement years, there are several important factors to consider. When considering cities and communities, there is most likely a preference to have a strong LGBTQ+ presence. Other important factors are a high percentage of older people, affordable housing, and access to quality healthcare. Retiring is a huge life achievement, and LGBTQ+ seniors deserve to live these silver years happy and comfortable.
It was not too long ago that many LGBTQ+ people were turned away from retirement communities because of who they are and who they love as a matter of policy. They would experience rejection and discrimination from staff members, and then made to feel unwelcome in their homes. Today, there are so many amazing options to consider that are specifically for LGBTQ+ retirees. Here is a closer look at the top gay retirement homes in the US.
1. Fountaingrove Lodge -- Santa Rosa, California
Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa, California is a luxury LGBTQ+ retirement home that pulls out all of the stops. It is also a continuing care retirement community. This means that someone can move in being fully active and independent, and then age in place as you require more levels of assistance. This craftsman style, modern facility has natural scenic views, gorgeous outdoor areas, and stunning interior design. Bonus: pets are welcome too!
2. Stonewall Gardens -- Palm Springs, California
Stonewall Gardens, located in Palm Springs, California, offers luxury and full-time personal care for its residents, with nurses that provide 24-hour health and wellness care. There is also an on-site chef who cooks gourmet meals for the residents with all of their dietary considerations in mind. Set in the heart of Palm Springs, residents can enjoy group outings like shopping, dining out, going to the theater, museums, and so much more. The pet-friendly facility offers a private patio outside of each home and majestic desert views.
3. Rainbow Vista -- Gresham, Oregon
Rainbow Vista in Gresham, Oregon, features both studio and one-bedroom apartments for independent living. This facility does not provide medical or assisted living services. Rainbow Vista is a LGBTQ+ senior (55 and over) community right near Portland, offering residents a safe, non-threatening, and discrimination-free environment. There are large communal areas that feature large event spaces, a theater room, gym, billiards room, and even a music room for a jam session. Rainbow Vista is known for its lively social calendar. This is a home where people gather to host barbecues, holiday parties, and residents birthday celebrations.
4. Seashore Point -- Provincetown, MA
The residences at Seashore Point are for people aged 55 and over. Known as a concierge condominium community, this is a great spot for carefree living. Featuring amenities and helpful services, all types of residents are welcome. Typical residents include single people, married couples, gay, straight, first and second homeowners, still working, or retired. It is also very close to local restaurants, pubs, arts, cultural events, and festivities. Pets are also welcome here!
Here at Seashore Point, you can live in either a one-bedroom or two-bedroom unit for independent living. There is also a wellness center on site. Should you ever require medical attention, there is the option for home health or companion services in your home. There is also a professional rehab department to take full advantage of, if need be. There is a full schedule of activities, fitness center, restaurant-style dining, maintenance, and housekeeping.
5. A Place For Us -- Cleveland, Ohio
Located on the border of Cleveland and Lakewood, A Place For Us is a senior housing community for residents that are ages 55 and up. A Place For Us hosts one and two bedroom apartments that includes tons of amenities. There is a dedicated support staff, a 24-hour emergency maintenance system, business center, fitness center, community room with kitchenette, controlled access buildings, a library, laundry room on each floor, meditation rooms, spacious closets and fully-equipped kitchens. A Place For Us is also a pet friendly community.
There are also beautiful and lush outdoor grounds as well as a friendly, welcoming, and dedicated staff. Another special thing to note is that this facility is part of a Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which means that the area offers very easy access to the West 117th RTA Rapid Transit Station. This makes shopping, visiting local parks, and other entertainment options easy and accessible.
6. Carefree Cove -- Boone, North Carolina
Carefree Cove in Boone, North Carolina is sure to bring out the carefree nature in any LGBTQ+ senior citizen. Known as “High Country”, this gay and lesibian residential community has stunning Appalachian mountain views. Along with the mountain views, there is also tons of forest greenery. Carefree Cove has quaint log-style cabins on campus. It even still has twenty available lots, as well as several resale homes. If you love the outdoors, this might be a great place for you to spend your silver fox years. While it is solely a vacation spot for some, many LGBTQ+ seniors call it home year round.
7. Birds Of A Feather -- Pecos, New Mexico
Birds of a Feather is a gorgeous gay and lesbian community of homes that encourages LGBTQ+ seniors to find a place to call home where they are joyously celebrated. Within this gated community, there are many sprawling acres of adjoining private property that is specifically conserved as green space. The hiking and biking oasis is a living dream, and the neighbors are friendly, welcoming, and accepting. There are plenty of nature trails around the area for hiking, walking, or a meandering chit chat. There is even National Forest Land that surrounds the property. The Pecos Wilderness preserve is only minutes away, which features hundreds of miles of trails for both hiking and horseback riding. There will always be a new trail to try!
8. The Resort On Carefree Boulevard -- Fort Myers, Florida
The Resort on Carefree Boulevard in Fort Myers, Florida, is a women-only community that includes more than 50 acres with over 250 homes and RV lots. Many homes feature lovely and sunny scenic Florida views of freshwater lakes and preserves. Residents either live here year round, seasonally, or just for a vacation to get away from it all. Who would blame you - with outdoor living spaces, swimming, and a full social agenda, it is easy to see why residents enjoy living so carefree.
9. The Pueblo -- Apache Junction, Arizona
Another women-only retirement community is The Pueblo. This small, Arizona desert community has been growing steadily for the past ten years. Specifically for residents aged 55+, The Pueblo is located in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. Located nearby are several local amenities, including healthcare facilities, retail shopping, and places of worship.
10. Spirit On The Lake -- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Spirit On The Lake is an apartment community that opened in 2014. It hosts 46 affordable apartments at the corner of Lake Street and 13th Avenue South in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The residents are just one block away from Midtown Greenway, which has access to miles of popular bike trails to explore. Spirit on the Lake provides a LGBT-friendly retirement environment.
11. Townhall Apartments -- Chicago, Illinois
Townhall Apartments is located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. The senior-living facility offers permanent housing and supportive services for people at risk of homelesesness and/or living with HIV/AIDS. Open for the last three years, Townhall Apartments is a safe place for LGBT seniors to both live and retire. The units are simple and low-cost, part of an affordable housing initiative in Chicago. The vibrant and energetic neighborhood community has access to restaurants, entertainment venues, and Wrigleyfield, home of the Chicago Cubs.
It was only in recent times that retirement homes became places that LGBTQ+ people could retire and be comfortable and safely themselves. Whether you end up choosing a metropolitan area or small town scene, most cities have pride events to partake in. Larger cities typically have a bustling social scene to offer, but smaller cities have that fun and artsy ambiance. The above listed retirement communities have taken extra steps and care to ensure that LGBTQ+ people are given the highest available access to healthcare and support. Today and going forward, our LGBTQ+ elders can and will gather together without discrimination or prejudice, but with community, pride, and sincere togetherness.