Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2012 Contents Artist impression of the
back of Linton Estate's
THE OWNER OF what will
very soon be Australia's first
independent living village for older
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and intersex (LGBTI) adults has
announced intentions to follow the
project with an LGBTI residential
aged care facility in the near future.
The groundbreaking and
already award-winning village
for older LGBTI people, Linton
Estate, will soon be built in rural
Victoria after more than 14 years
Now approved and only
months out from the first phase
of construction, Linton Estate
will not be a retirement village,
nor a typical residential aged
facility, but instead a 'residential
community lifestyle living village
The project will feature a mix
of 120 two and three-bedroom,
single-storey independent living
units (sized between 13 to 22
square metres each) and a
massive suite of other items
to promote social inclusion.
Residents will have access to the
on-site nurse via the use of a nurse
call system and receive care in
their own home via community
care packages, if need be.
Managing director of Linton
Estate and the key individual
behind the project, Peter Dickson,
said he had decided to look for
land "further into town" to build
an LGBTI aged care facility once
Linton is finished.
"I hope the independent living
units will all be built in the next
two to three years," Mr Dickson
said. "And within that time, I hope
to source a location for an LGBTI
aged care facility."
But for now, he added, "we
are finalising all the big things".
"At the moment we are deciding
between two building companies
for the Linton Estate units -- Mega
Homes and Orbit Homes. And
we are looking at about eight
different builders to construct the
WE ACCEPT EVERYONE
Promoting a philosophy of mutual
respect, Linton estate will be a
safe, secure and non-judgmental
environment for residents and staff
of all genders and sexuality types.
"A lot of people working in aged
care facilities are from overseas
who might have certain cultural
and religious beliefs, which means
they don't believe in homosexuality.
This is where Linton has to be
able to look after its own -- staff will
be respectful to the community,
whether they are gay or straight.
And here, you will not being judged
if you are gay, lesbian, or even a
straight woman or male.
"Residents can have their
own pictures on their wall and
they won't be looked at as
offensive. People are able to
choose their own colour schemes
and won't have restrictions on
[how they decorate the interior
of the units]. We will check the
facades out the front of the units to
make sure they are [all okay] but
that is the only thing we will control.
It's all about living in a community
and about caring for each other."
Mr Dickson said the estate
will have no age restriction,
encouraging couples of all ages to
feel comfortable and be accepted.
"I could say a lot of gay
people have younger partners,
especially males. They could
be 20 years old with a partner
of 60. In a lot of RVs, unless the
charter allows it, when that older
person dies, the younger person
has to move out. But where's the
humanity? So Linton sees [and
accepts] that in gay communities,
there is a situation where a lot of
people have younger partners."
The community centre toilets
will also be unisex cubicles
with individual urinals behind
select cubicle doors. "I had to
look outside the square and
think, 'how would a straight or
gay woman cope with an intersex
person changing next door?"
The estate's approved plans
also include landscaped front
and back gardens; a commercial
business building; community
centre; adult learning centre;
children's play area; gym; tanning
salon, beautician, hairdresser and
masseuse quarters; consulting
rooms; shed/workshop; open
air theatre; tennis court; bowling
green; club house; croquet
green; caravan and boat storage;
community barbeques; shop/bar/
café; and more.
the village is set to also have a grey
water recycling system, solar street
lighting, storm water harvesting,
man-made lakes and trout fishing.
BE PROUD OF
The Linton Estate won the
Australasian Over 50's Housing
Awards 2010; Australasian Over
50's Housing Award 2011; and
Global Over's 50's Housing
Healthcare 2011 award.
"These designs are really
good. Even the big operators
have acknowledged how good
they are. These designs are
nothing like what's out there in
the market. It's something for the
gay community to be proud of."
So far, the village has 284
expressions of interest from older
people all over the world. Mr
Dickson expects that 35 per cent of
those will purchase. Once a bulk of
units has been sold, construction
will start. "But, I don't feel the units
will stay on the market very long."
The estate, named after Mr
Dickson's mother -- Linton was her
maiden name -- will also be divided
into independent unit blocks
named after his four aunties.
Mr Dickson, a gay man, said
he had thought about developing
the village for 24 years and then,
14 years ago, set about doing it.
"What happens in the [LGBTI]
community is that one partner
normally dies without the other, as
you don't normally die together
unfortunately. And, for a lot of
people, they will then be isolated
to the boundary of their house.
"To a lot of LGBTI people, the
LGBTI community is their family
as we don't have family. And,
even if we do, the kids might not
talk to them because they are
horrified that mum or dad is gay.
But nobody should die alone.
Nobody should be afraid." n
By Yasmin Noone
First LGBTI community seniors' village
10 | JULY -- AUGUST 2012 | AAA
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