When Senior Living Goes “Gay-Friendly”

rosevilla_logo_in_color_with_taglineHow, exactly, does a continuing care community actually implement an LGBT-friendly policy?

That’s what Vassar Byrd, Chief Executive Officer, and Rachel Rushing, Director of Social Services for Rose Villa in Portland, Oregon, discuss in a blog post at the website ElderBranch.

The 52-year-old facility has always had an open door policy, but upped their commitment to LGBT friendliness after a 2009 meeting with a lesbian couple who reported that another facility had accepted their money before telling them, “you realize when you move in, you’re going to need to be sisters or roommates right?”

The process Rose Villa engaged in included individual conversations with residents who management felt might have problems with the new policy:  “I actually went and spoke to a couple of those folks one-on-one and said, ‘This is something that’s important to our community and I feel that there’s broad support here, but I really want to be sure that you’re comfortable with it too — how do you feel about having neighbors who are not like you?’  People surprised me in a very positive way.  The worst comment I [received] was, ‘I’m not sure, I’m a little scared, but we’ll see who they are.’  You really can’t ask for more than that.  I was very pleased.  Other people — maybe they just didn’t want to go on record as being more biased — but they asserted that they would have no problems with all kinds of neighbors.”

Staff trainings on LGBT residents are held twice a year, and the facility has an active partnership with the Gay & Grey organization in Portland.

You can read the whole article at http://www.elderbranch.com/blog/lgbt-senior-living-at-rose-villa/

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