Saturday, February 13, 2010

LGBT nursing home to open this month

by Hannah Clay Wareham

The Elsie Frank House at the Leonard Florence Center for Living -- a nursing home specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender senior citizens -- opens this month in Chelsea, Mass.

Named for openly gay Congressman Barney Frank’s mother, who had been a longtime supporter of LGBT rights at the time of her death in 2005, the home marks the nation’s first Green House for LGBT elders.

"We have chosen to dedicate one of our Green Houses to the LGBT community because everyone deserves to live and receive care in a place that is filled respect for who they are, and for their dignity," Green House CEO Barry Berman told the Golden Rainbow Times. "Be assured that the staff at Elsie Frank have chosen to work with LGBT residents and we look forward to creating a strong sense of community in this house."

Ten residents will live in each of the ten condo-style houses, bringing the total number of residences in the building to 100. Each of the ten seniors living in the Elsie Frank House will have their own private bedroom and bathroom, with shared living and dining areas. The main floor of the house (called "Main Street USA") will offer a cafĂ©, bakery, chapel, deli, day spa, and peace garden. The residents will not be forced to conform to mainstream institutions’ rigid meal schedules; rather, the shared kitchens will allow staff to prepare meals for the residents when they choose to eat.

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