''I see this as a vital need,'' says Edith Lederberg, director of Broward's Area Agency on Aging. ''As they get to be older, their needs are the same as everyone else's.
I just want a place where they can feel comfortable.''
Activists and aging experts believe this would be the nation's first federally funded, ''gay-friendly'' day care center, where caregivers and others would bring frail or infirm seniors to spend the day.
The proposed center would sit squarely at the nexus of two national trends.Not only is the nation graying, with the over-65 population expected to double to 70 million by the year 2030, but there's a growing desire among gay men and lesbians for housing and other senior services tailored just to them.
The money that will come from the federal government through the state is contingent on the center turning no eligible senior away, Lederberg
says, whether gay or not.
says, special effort would be made to serve those needing help in Broward County's 15,000-member gay and lesbian senior community.
The county already has eight senior day care centers that also receive federal money.
Florida has long been the nation's testing ground for seniors services.One of every five state residents is 65 or older, a proportion the rest of the country isn't expected to catch up to until 2030.
Like snowbirds of every stripe, gay men and lesbians have come here to retire.