As the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-friendly retirement community to provide continuing and progressive care, Fountaingrove Lodge provides a safe place for residents and staff to be themselves
Amazing. Gorgeous. Incredible. Residents and staff are using superlatives like these to describe life at Fountaingrove Lodge, a 10-acre retirement campus that opened in November 2013. The estimated $52 million project, in the works since 2005, includes Fountaingrove Lodge, which offers resort-style, independent retirement living in 64 apartment-homes and six standalone bungalows; and The Terraces, a 33-unit community offering specialized services for individuals with early to advanced stages of memory loss.
Fountaingrove Lodge features craftsman-style architecture, spacious living areas and a long list of upscale amenities—five-star dining, a wine cave, fitness center, movie theater and much more. “Fountaingrove Lodge offers the ultimate in luxury living, 365 days per year,” says Ira Lubell, a 77-year-old retired physician and public health professional, who moved in three weeks after it opened. “Everything is done with great taste. I feel completely relaxed here.”
The openly gay Lubell and his partner, Louis Bonsignore, feel comfortable in their new home for another important reason: As the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-friendly retirement community to provide continuing and progressive care, Fountaingrove Lodge provides a safe place for residents and staff to be themselves with no explanations, no euphemisms and no shame.
“No one needs to hide or pretend here,” says Heidi Charette, executive director. “You can be whomever (I think “whoever” is grammatically correct)you want to be and the community will embrace you.”
An idea whose time has come
The idea for an LGBT-friendly retirement community has been growing for decades, according to Lubell. “About 35 years ago, I was among a group that started talking about creating [...]