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LGBTQ+ Aging in Illinois 

I am a senior and I’m gay. I’m afraid of moving into a senior community with my partner. What do you suggest? Should I be worried?

Thank you for bringing up such a timely topic that concerns seniors making housing choices. There are many senior communities in Illinois who are now providing education regarding seniors that are part of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and more) community. Senior communities are accepting of all individuals who want to move in. They do not discriminate for any reason. That said, you are indeed moving to a community that will include people of varying lifestyle choices.

Careful research is a critical first step toward finding communities that have LGBTQ individuals residing there. You should narrow down the geographic area you want to live in, and find communities that are open and welcoming.

In our work we have learned that living in a senior community can be either a wonderful or awful experience if the research is flawed or not done correctly. Do your homework. Contact an agency like Elderwerks to help you identify the senior communities that have residents who are more open minded and accepting, ask candid questions. There are senior communities who openly say they welcome the LGBTQ+ community. Others have a population of residents who naturally came together and developed an environment of mutual trust and acceptance.

If you are interested in living in a community with like-minded individuals, secure a list of 4 or 5 communities that you can tour. When you visit, make it a point to speak with staff, residents and other people onsite to see how they react. Basic conversation can be an indicator of a welcoming atmosphere, something you’ll surely want in a place where you’ll be spending most of your days. It’s also good to tour a second time at a different part of the day to see if there are changes in attitude by other people you encounter. We recently served a client who wanted to move into a senior community, because she found them very warm and welcoming. She had gone for a visit during happy hour. Needless to say, the morning tour was much different than the afternoon tour and she decided on another location to move to. In the end your intuition will be the measure by which your decision is made. Gather your own facts, ask many questions and avoid relying on well-intentioned advice offered by neighbors and people weighing in on websites or blogs. Your internal compass is the key to making a satisfying decision on your new home.

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Finding assisted living or other types of senior care can be overwhelming and a time-consuming task. Elderwerks is a relationship-based company. We are dedicated to our families 24/7.

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For your complimentary, individual consultation, or for help touring an assisted living community, call an Elderwerks Consultant today at 855-462-0100.

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