Nursing home opens home for Amsterdam LGBT elderly

Elderly care organization Amsta is opening a special home for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elderly people in the Dr Sarphati house in Amsterdam. "Here you do not have to explain how you lived your life", the organization said to Het Parool. The home opens on Wednesday and will initially have room for 8 LGBT elders.

The new department in the nursnig home on Rotersstraat will be called Rose Island. The organziation intends to creat an environment where the elderly can live out their days in peace without having to answer questions about who they were married to or how they chose to live their lives. 

To start with the Rose Island willl have room for eight people with different care needs. The nursing homes expects that mainly people with physical or psychiatric problems will live there. The staff working in the department feel conneced to the LGBT community, which should make communications smoother and easier.

"Where necessary and in cooperation with the residents, we are going to give a unique character tot he deaprtment", Wilbert Wienema, director of home care organization Gay Care - which is helping the nursing home with this initiative, said to the newspaper. This will include special wall art and such, but no real plans are in place yet. 

Gay Care believes there is a great need for such a speacial place for LGBT elderly people. "There are people who are going back into the closet later in life in the nursing home, because the environment can not always handle it. Sometimes they are discriminated against or excluded, something that may have to do with ignorance or inexperience. But growing old in an environment where they feel connected is important", Wienema said.