Denmark opens its first LGBT elderly home

Copenhagen, Aug 15 (IANS) Denmark has opened its first care home for elderly members of the LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender – community, a media report said.

According to sources, plans for the home were first announced in November 2014, with the intention of turning Slottet, in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district into a place where elderly LGBT residents can live out their golden years without having to hide their true identity, The Local news portal reported.

“We know that older LGBT people often go ‘back in the closet’ when they come to a nursing home. People have lived different lives – some were completely open, while others were more careful,” Vivi Jelstrup, a member of LGBT Denmark’s seniors committee said.

“Many feel that it is easier to not open up (about themselves in a care home) than to once again fight for acceptance. That means that you don’t have the same opportunity to be yourself with others and that can make you lonely. That is precisely why we need a place where LGBT people can talk openly about the lives they have led,” she added.

Helge Madsen, 83, was already living at Slottet before it adopted its LGBT profile. He said that it took him four full years to tell the care home’s staff that he was homosexual. He said he looks forward to life under the home’s new profile and with his new fellow LGBT residents.

“I think it will mean more secure conditions and safer conditions to be with some of my equals,” he said.

Although Slottet has formally adopted its new LGBT profile, it is still open to residents of all sexual orientations.

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