This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which marked a turning point in the gay-rights movement. That makes it a special Pride month for those celebrating.
When it comes to older members of the LGBT community, it’s not always easy to know which assisted-living communities offer the most support and understanding. Thankfully, the SAGE organization for LGBT elders is here to make things a bit clearer.
SAGE offers all sorts of resources for the aging LGBT community, from offering support on the phone to advocating on members’ behalf to spearheading special inclusive housing initiatives.
There are currently around 30 SAGE-certified living communities in the U.S. spanning 22 states.
Watermark Retirement Communities, a nationwide network of retirement and assisted-living communities, is making some big strides for its LGBT residents by becoming the first network to pursue SAGE credentials for all of its communities.
Recently, Watermark’s Lakeside Park in Oakland, California, became the first exclusive memory-care residence to earn the credential, paving the way to assist LGBT elders who deal with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The Watermark by the Bay, an assisted living and Memory Care residence in Emeryville, California, is their latest to receive the SAGE Platinum credential.
“It was very important for me to be in a gay friendly community,” Watermark by the Bay resident Jerry Fritz said in a press release. “It’s so comforting. I don’t have to second-guess myself when I say something.”
Finding a warm, open environment to spend one’s later years can be tough enough without worrying about discrimination. But SAGE is working to make sure seniors of any sexual orientation will feel respected and comfortable
“Every person — straight, gay, bisexual — should have a place to live where they feel as relaxed and comfortable as I do,” Fritz said. “It’s a feeling I never thought I’d live to see.”