Tailor-made Old Folks’ Home for Homosexuals
THE HAGUE, 09/04/14 - An old folks home is opening in Amsterdam this week especially for the homosexual elderly. There is less and less understanding for them in regular care, according to Gay Care Amsterdam director Jan Nieuwenhuis.
Amsterdam Healthcare Alderman Eric van der Burg will be present Thursday at the official launch of the new private homecare organisation. Professor Tineke Abma of the Free University in Amsterdam will then simultaneously present a survey showing that the homosexual elderly have to deal with all sorts of forms of discrimination and exclusion.
It is often a matter of small humiliations such as ignoring or making jokes. “Together however they ensure that the elderly do not feel respected. People in a home go back into the closet, for example,” says Nieuwenhuis.
Another frequent problem that home care workers with an Islamic background do not accept homosexuality. “Older homosexuals sometimes put away a photo of their deceased partner before the home care worker comes, because they are afraid that the social worker will have difficulty with it.”
Gay Care Amsterdam works with specially trained staff who know the homosexual living world and specific care-related matters such as HIV infection, Nieuwenhuis explains. The organisation has to manage on private investments and wants to plough back part of the profit into the LHBT community.
Eventually, Gay Care Amsterdam wants to go on developing in special homes. But things have not got that far yet. “Millions in investments are needed for this,” says Nieuwenhuis.