LGBT Retirement Homes in VancouverLGBT Retirement Homes in Vancouver

Vancouver is considered a great destination for retirees, and it’s also home to a diverse LGBTTQ community that’s the largest in western Canada. With strong support services for seniors, local groups working to expand housing options for GLBT seniors, and near-limitless options for social, cultural and outdoor activities, Vancouver lives up to its “spectacular” slogan.

Community resources for learning, socializing, and fitness

The City of Vancouver offers transit discounts to seniors age 65 and up and provides a long list of senior services. City-run recreation programs for older adults include classes on autobiography writing, book clubs, board game groups, dance classes, and fine arts. Qmunity, a local LGBT resource centre, also hosts lots of groups, like drop-in meditation classes, the Twisted Cooks dinner club for older adults, trans groups, and all-ages yoga. Outdoorsy people will find plenty to do at the city’s many beaches and parks, including Stanley Park, which is considered to be one of the best city parks in the world.

Big events for the LGBTTQ+ community

There are pride events in summer and winter in Vancouver and surrounding areas. August heats up with the annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Queer Arts Festival, and Pride Parade in the city. In January, a short drive north from the city leads to the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival, which offers winter sports, live entertainment, and parties to beat the winter blahs.

Housing resources for Vancouver-area LBGT seniors

Referrals and information about supportive retirement housing in the Vancouver area are provided by the Senior Services Society. The area is home to dozens of co-op housing communities, along with some subsidized independent living facilities and more than 150 public and private assisted living retirement communities. Among the co-ops that specify LGBT friendliness are Vancouver East Co-op and Lakewood Terrace Co-op, both of which are open to adults and families of all ages. Rainbow Vision Vancouver is currently in the planning stages of developing GLBT-friendly housing in the city center, although it may be a few years before the project is expected to take several years to complete.

Learn more about assisted living in Vancouver and read reviews.

 

Help for LGBTQ seniors to age in place

For retirees in Vancouver who want to live in their current homes as long as possible, there are many options for help with errands, household tasks, personal care, and more. Qmunity’s Friendly Visitor Services is a volunteer program that pairs LGBTQ community members with seniors who need a little extra social time or help getting to appointments and shops. Qmunity’s generations coordinator offers one-on-one guidance to seniors who need help connecting with local services. The centre also hosts regular support groups for LGBTTQ people living with disabilities and chronic illness as well as for people dealing with bereavement. The centre runs a free naturopathic medicine clinic and provides anonymous testing for sexually transmitted infections.

There are more than 300 city-sponsored and non-profit senior centres in Greater Vancouver that provide drop-in social time, counseling, fall-safety education, and programming in Chinese and Aboriginal languages as well as in English. Homebound seniors who need assistance applying for benefits, help with LGBT-specific issues, or help in languages other than English can arrange for assistance from an outreach counselor from the 411 Senior Centre.

Vancouver’s vast network of senior centres, LGBTTQ services, and community events makes it an appealing destination for retirement living. Factor in the local natural beauty and it’s easy to see why the locals call Vancouver spectacular.

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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