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LGBTQIA+ Senior Housing Options

LGBTQIA+ Senior Housing Options

Date Updated: June 20, 2024

Reviewed by:

Deidre Sommerer

Deidre has worked in the healthcare field for over 35 years and specializes in Geriatrics. Deidre is a nurse who holds a certification from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has worked across all healthcare settings, with a concentration on the community and helping older and disabled adults age in place. She has worked on NIH grant-funded program evaluation projects and considers herself a life-long learner. Deidre is a valued team member at The Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging in Hartford, CT.

For many seniors, keeping up with  a home takes tremendous effort and financial investment. That’s why many older adults decide to sell their homes and take advantage of the benefits of senior housing. But for the estimated 2.4 million seniors in the United States who identify as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex and asexual plus allies), finding a supportive senior housing community can be especially challenging. Due to a lack of LGBTQIA+-specific affordable senior housing options and inadequate staff training, there is a very high potential for discrimination and mistreatment of seniors.

According to SAGE, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of older LGBTQIA+ community members, nearly half of same-sex couples have faced some type of housing discrimination. The National Health Law Program also reports that some health care providers refuse to care for LGBTQIA+ patients, leading to treatment delays and worse health outcomes, a serious concern for nursing home residents.

These facts can make seniors who are part of the LGBTQ+ community feel as though they cannot move to a senior living community without facing discrimination. However, there are numerous communities that cater specifically to LGBTQ+ residents, and many others that are clear on their anti-discrimination laws. 

We created this guide to help you find these LGBTQ+-friendly communities. For each community, you’ll find a short description of the services and amenities available to help you determine which options will likely meet your needs. The guide also includes helpful resources for LGBTQIA+ seniors and a list of questions to ask when you call or visit one of these communities.

Challenges Faced by LGBTQIA+ Seniors

Many of today’s LGBTQIA+ seniors have faced a lifetime of difficulty in striving to prove their worth in different areas of life, including their careers and access to safe and affordable housing. 

Read below to understand how these two major spheres of impact negatively affect LGBTQIA+ seniors’ overall quality of life.

Financial Insecurity

Employment discrimination during their working years has resulted in limited access to employer-provided insurance and financial security for LGBTQIA+ seniors. While the problem of job candidate discrimination has improved greatly over the years, today’s LGBTQIA+ seniors were in the thick of their careers during a time when this inequality was very prevalent. The consequence is an unfortunate reality that LGBTQIA+ seniors are less likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have nest eggs that cover the cost of senior housing when they need it most. Additionally, a UCLA study suggests that same-sex couples are generally more vulnerable to poverty than different-sex married couples.

Discrimination in Retirement Homes

When it comes time to search for a senior living community, an AARP survey reports that more than a third of LGBTQIA+ respondents feel they need to hide their true identity in order to secure suitable housing. Once inside senior communities, the discrimination continues for openly gay residents. In fact, 24% of caregivers claim to have witnessed this mistreatment first-hand. Sadly, many LGBTQIA+ seniors are discouraged from inviting their same-sex partner to enjoy visits inside the community – even when heterosexual couple visitations occur regularly.

Housing Rights for LGBTQIA+ Seniors

According to The National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging, LGBTQIA+ seniors should be aware of their housing rights. These rights include:

  • The right to be free from discrimination in public and private housing, including in housing assistance programs like Section 8 and seniors’ housing programs
  • The right to be free from discrimination, isolation, harassment, abuse and neglect in long-term care, rehabilitation, and assisted-living facilities
  •  The right to have their privacy, relationships, gender identity and choices equally respected.
  • The right to be free from discrimination in accessing health care and to be treated with dignity and respect by health care and social service professionals

LGBTQIA+-Friendly Retirement Communities and Villages

Retirement communities are designed for active seniors who don’t need supervision or medical monitoring. Some communities feature private homes on individual lots, giving residents plenty of privacy. A retirement community may also have condominiums or mobile homes. Each community typically has several shared spaces, such as an activity center or golf course, making it easier for residents to socialize and stay active. The retirement communities below are LGBTQIA+-friendly and have plenty of amenities to keep residents engaged.

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather is a retirement community where LGBTQIA+ seniors can feel free to express their true selves. The community features architect-designed homes and custom-built homes on hundreds of acres of forest land. Available amenities include fireplaces, double-car garages and covered outdoor areas. Birds of a Feather allows both contemporary and Southwestern/Pueblo home designs.

Website

Location

Contact Information

birdsofafeather.com

Pecos, New Mexico

(505) 757-2901

Carefree Cove

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Carefree Cove started as a retirement community solely for LGBT residents. Today, most residents are LGBTQIA+ community members, but Carefree Cove also accepts non-LGBTQIA seniors who want to live in an inclusive community. Amenities include a well-maintained hiking trail, multiple water features and a community garden. Carefree Cove residents also enjoy convenient access to high-quality medical care and local social groups.

Website

Location

Contact Information

carefreecoveofnc.com

Zionville, North Carolina

(828) 263-4252

Discovery Bay Resort

Discovery Bay Resort is an LGBTQIA+-friendly retirement community just for women. The small community has only six streets, but the resort designed the layout to ensure as many residents as possible have a view of Discovery Bay. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, community garden, exercise room and Wi-Fi access. Discovery Bay Resort also has blackberry bushes, apple trees and a lush green meadow.

Website

Location

Contact Information

discoverybayresort.org

North Olympic Peninsula, Washington

(360) 797-7222

Fountaingrove Lodge

Located in Santa Rosa, California, Fountaingrove Lodge is a luxury retirement community featuring apartment homes and bungalows. Many residents belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, but Fountaingrove Lodge is also open to allies who value inclusivity. Amenities include a private movie theater, wine cave, swimming pool and well-maintained grounds. Residents also enjoy convenient access to local shops, art galleries and restaurants, many of which are within walking distance.

Website

Location

Contact Information

oakmontseniorliving.com

Santa Rosa, California

(707) 282-5023

The Palms of Manasota

The Palms of Manasota was the first retirement community in the United States established specifically for gay residents. Although a majority of the current residents belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, The Palms of Manasota also has non-LGBTQIA residents who are accepting of others. Phase I of the community features 21 individual homes belonging to a single condo association.

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

palmsofmanasota.net

Palmetto, Florida

(404) 667-3676

Retirement Community

LGBTQIA+-Friendly Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are ideal for active seniors who enjoy socializing and want to live around other people in the same age range. They’re similar to retirement communities, but independent living communities typically offer apartments rather than individual houses or mobile homes. Another key difference is that residents of independent living communities may still work full-time or be partially retired. Many communities also coordinate social events and recreational activities.

A Place for Us

A Place for Us is a senior living community that lies on the border between Lakewood and Cleveland, Ohio. As the state’s first LGBTQIA+-friendly senior community, A Place for Us offers an inclusive environment for residents who are 55 and older. Each apartment has air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, large closets and window coverings. Community amenities include a business center, 24-hour emergency maintenance and a well-stocked library.

Website

Location

Contact Information

apfuhousing.com

Cleveland, Ohio

(844) 329-9215

John C. Anderson Apartments

John C. Anderson Apartments is an LGBTQIA+-friendly apartment community for seniors 62 and older. Located in Center City Philadelphia, the community offers convenient access to grocery stores, restaurants, health care facilities and cultural attractions. Each one-bedroom apartment has an open floor plan, giving residents plenty of space for entertaining guests or enjoying their favorite hobbies. Residents also have access to a shared patio and a community room.

Website

Location

Contact Information

pennrose.com

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(267) 915-0063

Living Out Palm Springs

Living Out is a resort-style apartment community designed specifically for active LGBTQ adults. All residents are at least 55 years old, making it easier to find friends who share your interests. Amenities include concierge services, a fitness center, a private salon and a swimming pool and spa. Each apartment features an open floor plan with views of the nearby mountains and desert vegetation, creating the perfect setting for luxury living.

Website

Location

Contact Information

livingout.com

Palm Springs, California

(833) 548-3688

Rainbow Vista

Rainbow Vista is a gay community designed for men and women who are 55+. Located just 15 miles from downtown Portland, Oregon, Rainbow Vista offers a safe environment free of discrimination toward LGBTQIA+ community members. Monthly rent includes parking, basic internet service, laundry facilities and all utilities except for telephone service. Each apartment has a kitchenette with a hot plate, a microwave and a small refrigerator.

Website

Location

Contact Information

rainbowvista.com

Gresham, Oregon

(503) 667-5575

LGBTQIA+-Friendly Assisted Living Communities

Some seniors need a little assistance with things like medication management and basic activities of daily living, but they don’t meet the level of care required to qualify for nursing home admission. For these seniors, assisted living is a happy medium. Assisted living communities offer a wide range of services to keep residents healthy and engaged, including assistance with bathing and grooming, laundry services, housekeeping services, assistance with medication self-administration and 24-hour supervision.

305 West End Assisted Living

If you’re looking for luxury assisted living, 305 West End Assisted Living in New York City is an option. Amenities include town car service to appointments, motor coach transportation to social activities, on-site parties, an on-site salon and weekly laundry service. Although 305 West End Assisted Living isn’t specifically for LGBTQIA+ seniors, the neighborhood is inclusive, which helps residents feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Website

Location

Contact Information

305westendassistedliving.com

New York, New York

(212) 969-8464

Belmont Village

Belmont Village isn’t exclusively for LGBTQIA+ seniors but offers an inclusive environment that helps residents of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome. As a result, about 9% of residents belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. Belmont Village offers on-site physical therapy, a full calendar of social events, chef-prepared meals and a fitness center with professional supervision available. Residents enjoy access to concierge services and high safety standards.

Website

Location

Contact Information

belmontvillage.com

Hollywood Hills, California

(323) 874-7711

Kingsley Manor

Kingsley Manor is a senior community offering three levels of care, including assisted living. The community has several floor plans available, including studios, one-bedroom apartments with patios and one-bedroom apartments with extra closet space. Available amenities include biweekly housekeeping, cultural programs, Wi-Fi and transportation to nearby shops, medical offices and event venues. The community even has a chapel, wellness clinic and 24-hour emergency call system.

Website

Location

Contact Information

kingsleymanor.org

Los Angeles, California

(323) 661-1128

Stonewall Gardens

Stonewall Gardens offers 24/7 staffing, ensuring that residents always have the right amount of supervision and support. Amenities include an emergency call system, three meals per day, roll-in showers and plenty of social and leisure activities. Stonewall Gardens also offers multiple floor plans, all of which include individual HVAC controls to ensure the comfort of every resident. This assisted living community is located in Palm Springs.

Website

Location

Contact Information

stonewallgardens.com

Palm Springs, California

(760) 548-0970

The Montecito Santa Fe

Originally established as RainbowVision, a retirement community exclusively for LGBTQ seniors, The Montecito in Santa Fe is now an assisted living community that accepts residents of all backgrounds. Although it no longer markets itself as an LGBTQIA+ community, The Montecito offers an inclusive environment where residents embrace each other’s differences. Residents have access to a suite of personalized services, including supervision, case management, medication monitoring and daily health reminders.

Website

Location

Contact Information

montecitosantafe.com

Santa Fe, New Mexico

(505) 428-7777

LGBTQIA+-Friendly Memory Care Communities

Memory care is a senior care option for older adults who’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. This type of community typically offers additional support to ensure that residents are safe and have access to specialized care. For example, memory care centers often have locked doors and elevators, preventing residents from wandering outside and encountering unsafe conditions. Some communities even offer visual cues to help seniors with memory loss feel more comfortable about their environment.

Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh

Aston Gardens at Pelican Marsh provides a person-centered approach to dementia care. The SHINE® program emphasizes understanding for seniors with memory loss and other symptoms caused by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Services and amenities include special dietary plans, small-group activities designed to promote engagement and a variety of sensory activities to help residents relax. Staff members participate in ongoing training to help them provide excellent care.

Website

Location

Contact Information

astongardens.com

Naples, Florida

(239) 296-5434

Bristol House Memory Care

Staff members at Bristol House Memory Care focus on creating an uplifting environment for seniors, making it a good option for LGBTQIA+ community members. The memory care program emphasizes effective communication and a genuine understanding of how dementia affects a senior’s day-to-day activities. Like other communities for seniors with dementia, Bristol House also has several security features, such as locked doors and hidden exits.

Website

Location

Contact Information

bristolhousememorycare.com

Warrington, Pennsylvania

(215) 491-1501

Plymouth Terrace Senior Living

Plymouth Terrace Senior Living is committed to creating an inclusive environment for residents. The memory care community doesn’t tolerate bullying or discrimination against LGBTQIA+ community members, ensuring that all residents are free to be themselves. Staff members perform individual assessments to determine the level of care each resident requires. Available amenities include housekeeping, linen services, cable and an on-site salon, some of which may incur extra fees.

Website

Location

Contact Information

plymouthterrace.net

Plymouth, Michigan

(734) 451-0700

The Fountains at Sea Bluffs

The Foundations at Sea Bluffs is one of the many Watermark communities throughout the United States and provides memory care emphasizing each resident’s overall well-being. Staff members are more than just caregivers; they’re leaders who have the wisdom needed to strengthen connections among residents. The Fountains at Sea Bluffs offers nutritious meals, art therapy, music therapy and other services to help residents stay engaged.

Website

Location

Contact Information

seabluffs.watermarkcommunities.com

Dana Point, California

(949) 234-3000

The Parkview

The Parkview is a memory care community with multiple floor plans to suit each resident’s needs. Every apartment has a kitchenette and emergency response system to promote safety and independence. The Parkview also offers restaurant-style dining, 24/7 supervision, weekly housekeeping services, cable television and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Although The Parkview isn’t designed exclusively for LGBTQIA seniors, it offers a welcoming environment for every senior with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

Website

Location

Contact Information

eskaton.org

Pleasanton, California

(925) 461-3042

LGBTQIA+-Friendly Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide 24/7 supervision and medical care to seniors with health conditions requiring ongoing care from nurses, physical therapists and other health care professionals. Available services include physical and occupational therapy, nursing care, daily meals and assistance with activities of daily living.

It’s rare to find a nursing home exclusively for LGBTQIA+ community members, but nursing home residents have the right to live free of discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. These rights are codified in the federal nursing home regulations as well as national anti-discrimination laws. You also have the following rights as a nursing home resident:

  • The right to privacy
  • The right to live free of abuse
  • The right to be treated with respect
  • The right to have visitors of your choosing
  • The right to participate in decisions related to your care
  • The right to participate in activities
  • The right to be fully informed about any service changes
  • The right to remain in the nursing home unless you meet the transfer guidelines
  • The right to make your own choices regarding self-expression

Further, each state has a federally mandated Long-term Care Ombudsman program designed to advocate for seniors’ rights related to health, safety and welfare for as long as they live in long-term care. If your rights are violated, contact your local ombudsman

Affordable LGBTQIA+-Friendly Housing Options for Low-Income Seniors

Affordable senior living communities are apartment communities that charge below-market rents to seniors who meet certain income guidelines. These communities typically receive funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other government agencies to subsidize rent for qualifying seniors. This makes it easier for seniors on fixed incomes to afford their housing expenses.

LGBT Network Apartments

The LGBT Support Network is a nonprofit organization that helps LGBTQIA+ individuals stay healthy and be true to themselves as they age. It also has an affordable housing community designed for adults who are 55 and older. Located in the Bay Shore section of Long Island, New York, the community consists of 75 new apartments and a large community center for social events and other activities. 

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

lgbtnetwork.org

Long Island, New York

(631) 665-2300

Independent Living

Affordable Senior Housing 

North Park Seniors

North Park Seniors is an affordable living community for seniors who are 55 and older. In addition to its standard services and amenities, North Park Seniors has on-site resident services provided by the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Residents enjoy convenient access to public transportation, job centers, restaurants and other attractions. The community is completely ADA accessible, making it a good fit for LGBTQIA+ seniors with a variety of disabilities.

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

chworks.org

San Diego, California

(619) 955-8321

Affordable Senior Housing

The Residences at Equality Park

The Residences at Equality Park is an affordable housing community for LGBTQIA+ seniors. It has 130 affordable housing units, along with social services aimed at helping LGBTQIA+ individuals live their best lives. 

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

pridecenterflorida.org

Wilton Manors, Florida

(954) 463-9005

Affordable Senior Housing

Town Hall Apartments

Established in a decommissioned police building, Town Hall Apartments is a 55+ senior living community with studio and one-bedroom apartments. Residents can access several community features, including bicycle parking, a computer lab, a family dining room and a terrace with attractive landscaping. Nearby Center on Halsted offers social services to LGBTQIA+ residents of this independent living community. Town Hall Apartments also has a senior center on its first floor.

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

heartlandalliance.org

Chicago, Illinois

(312) 660-1300

Affordable Senior Housing

Triangle Square Apartments

Triangle Square Apartments was the first affordable housing community developed specifically for LGBTQIA+ seniors in the United States. Each apartment has attractive flooring, air conditioning, efficient appliances, natural lighting and spacious bathrooms. Residents also have access to many community amenities, such as 24-hour emergency maintenance, a picnic area, gated parking, a fitness center and laundry on each floor. Triangle Square Apartments has one- and two-bedroom floor plans.

Website

Location

Contact Information

Care Type

trianglesquareapts.com

Los Angeles, California

(323) 466-4372

Affordable Senior Housing

Questions to Ask When Looking for an LGBTQIA+-Friendly Senior Living Community

If you think LGBTQIA+-friendly senior living is right for you, it’s important to choose a community that aligns with your personal values and offers the services you need to remain as healthy as possible. The checklist below contains questions you should ask when you contact an LGBTQIA+-friendly senior living community to determine if it’s a good fit for your needs.

Questions to Ask When Looking for an LGBTQIA+-Friendly Senior Living Community

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Financial Assistance for LGBTQIA+ Seniors

Statistics repeatedly show that LGBTQIA+ seniors suffer from financial insecurity as a result of discrimination experienced throughout their life. In fact, LGBTQIA+ couples have 37.4% less income from retirement savings than heterosexual older adult couples. Additionally, 42% of LGBTQ seniors are very concerned that they will outlive their retirement savings, compared to 25% of non-LGBTQIA+ older people. Thankfully, support options have become more readily available as this issue has come to the light. Read below for financial assistance resources that can help LGBTQIA+ seniors in need.

Financial Assistance Resource

How It Helps

Senior Rainbow Assistance Program

Offers Illinois LGBTQIA+ seniors financial assistance for basic necessities and mortgage or rent 

Veterans Affairs Benefits

In 2022, the VA expanded its benefits for same-sex and LGBTQIA+ survivors of lost veterans. Spouses, children, or parents of those who served in the military have new ways to qualify for Disability and Indemnity Compensation.

Social Security Survivors Benefits

Social Security pays survivors benefits to widows, widowers, and dependents of eligible workers who have passed away. Eligibility for Social Security survivors benefits was recently expanded to same-sex couples who were or would have been legally married.

SAGECents

Created in partnership with SAGE and LifeCents, this program gives LGBTQIA+ seniors access to resources that support their financial literacy and stability as they navigate the economic challenges resulting from COVID-19.

National Council on Aging’s BenefitsCheckUp®

BenefitsCheckUp® is an online tool that helps older adults determine their eligibility for benefits and leads them to the right place to apply.

Resources for LGBTQIA+ Seniors

Organization

Website

Contact Information

Services for LGBTQIA+ Seniors

SAGE

sageusa.org

(877) 360-5428

SAGE advocates for LGBTQ seniors at the local, state and federal level. The organization publishes policy briefs, educates lawmakers about LGBTQ issues and organizes rallies and marches to make more people aware of the challenges facing LGBTQ community members.

National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Elders

lgbtagingcenter.org

(212) 741-2247

The National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Elders is a technical assistance resource center that helps other organizations improve the services they offer to older adults who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. This organization also provides educational programs to LGBTQ+ seniors and their family members.

Human Rights Campaign

hrc.org

(800) 777-4723

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) works to improve health care for LGBTQIA+ community members. The organization publishes educational materials to help older LGBTQIA+ adults understand their rights. The HRC website also has a search tool to help seniors find health care facilities that participated in its most recent Health Quality Index survey.

National LGBTQ Task Force

thetaskforce.org

(202) 393-5177

The National LGBTQ Task Force exists to promote justice and equality for all LGBTQIA+ community members. It does so by hiring community organizers who work to mobilize LGBTQIA+ activists and respond quickly when new challenges arise.

Old and Bold: Services for All

sageusa.org

(212) 741-2247Old and Bold: Services for All is a campaign from SAGE to help LGBTQIA+ and HIV-positive seniors access aging services like meal assistance, senior center programs, benefits enrollment, and more — regardless of where they live.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

ncea.acl.gov

855-500-3537NCEA is a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment, including the vulnerable population of LGBTQIA+ seniors.
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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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