The latest data from The Guardian revealed that 1.6% of adults in England and Wales between the ages 55-64 are likely to identify as LGBT, along with 0.8% between the ages 65-74 and 0.4% for 75+.
These stats indicate an increase from previous numbers, and the ONS notes that this is likely due to the changes in societal attitudes. More than ever, there is a greater acceptance in society towards people expressing different sexual identities. These altering attitudes are beginning to filter into housing options, in particular retirement living opportunities.
The latest data (2019) from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) revealed that, for the first time in reported statistics, there had been an increase in the number of over 65s identifying as LGB, up from 0.7% of this age category in 2018 to 1.0% in 2019.
Noting the changes in societal attitudes, the ONS explains the data change as being influenced by a greater acceptance in society towards people expressing different sexual identities. These altering attitudes are beginning to filter into housing options, in particular retirement living opportunities.
In 2021, Tonic Housing, in collaboration with the Mayor of London, acquired a building in central London to create the UK's 'first' LGBT retirement living apartment complex, calledBankhousein Vauxhall.
Tonic Housing describes the community as a"LGBT+ affirming complex with a unique offering of housing with care that celebrates LGBT+ identities with the community at the heart of project."The company states that it intends to supply activities chosen by the residents in line with their interests and the offer of on-site care and support packages.
Arecent national survey (2018)by the Government's Equalities Office outlined the challenges that some LGBT+ people experience within UK society. A significant portion of respondents suggested they were reluctant to state their sexual identities when entering care homes to live. This has prompted the call for greater accommodation of personalised living choices for older people.
In another step forward for Londoners,L&Qare working alongside the community schemeLondon Older Lesbian Co-housing (LOLC)to develop the UK's first co-housing scheme for older residents in the LGBT+ community, created and run by its residents. This won't be an alternative to a care home, rather a shared housing community. There will be separate apartments with a shared garden, dining room, kitchen, and social space.
LOLC's Amanda Girling-Budd clarified their vision as"supporting each other to have the best rest of our lives."
Outside the capital, there have also been steps forward in LGBT retirement living.A landmark reportby the LGBT Foundationfound that around 74% of respondents want to be able to choose a home for their later years that catered for their needs and lifestyle, supplied by a specific LGBT provider.
In 2021,Anchorannounced that they were to build theUK's first purpose-built LGBT+ extra care housing for older people in the Whalley Range area. The plan is to create 100 apartments for over 55s with a combination of affordable rental and shared ownership opportunities.
Manchester Council's lead member for adult health and wellbeing, Councillor Bev Craig commented,"We already know LGBT+ people are more likely to be lonely later in life, and as this community is growing, it shows that this extra care is not only welcome but absolutely needed."
Anchor have previous experience in this area of development, as the company already hasNew Larchwoodnear Brighton as part of their retirement living consortium. The retirement village consists of 38 one/two-bed extra care apartments with a range of on-site facilities, such as a cinema, hair salon, restaurant, and community café. It is described as"LGBT+ inclusive and therefore very welcoming of diversity."
These existing communities and planned proposals for more retirement accommodation for LGBT+ seniors are major advancements in the landscape of flexible and personalised living choices for older people.
Autumnaoffer free advice on all elderly care issues. If you'researching for retirement homes, Autumna help by covering all aspects of the market, from luxury retirement villages to more cost-effective choices.
*Please note that this is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Bright Horizons. Should you utilise or download any of these resources, any exchange of data is solely between you and that provider - these resources may be subject to their own terms and conditions and/or privacy notice. (As Bright Horizons has no control of the contents of the external resources, it can assume no responsibility or liability for these resources or the provider's use of any data you share with them.)