Early april a new care company or home nursing organization has launched in Amsterdam: Gay Care. This is the first time a care company specifically for the LGBT community has been started in The Netherlands. This company is a new sign of the ever evolving and growing LGBT community in Amsterdam.
Growing need for LGBT friendly care
With an ever growing part of the LGBT in the city reaching an elderly age, the need for professional care is growing. But taking care of a client, who is used to be out of the closet, is more than professionally taking care of medication, well being or any other care aspect. It also means being open to a clients life style, personality and personal history. The mainstream care companies appear to be lacking that specific skill and knowledge. That made some gay social entrepreneurs pool together and start this new company. ‘In a traditional home nursing, you can end up with helps who don’t accept you because of their religion or culture and are not afraid of letting you know it,’ the Volkskrant quotes company founder Ed Sinke as saying.
Services and working opportunities
Gay Care offers services to LGBT clients to live independently as long as possible. These services are offered 24/7 and include small house hold tasks, but also nursing seriously ill clients or even at home hospice services for the terminally ill. If you want to work at Gay Care you need to be of course a care professional. But equally important is an open attitude towards the LGBT community or being part of that community.
Welcomed by many
First reactions have been positive. The national LGBT organization COC welcomed this new initiative. They are already working for about 10 years to make main stream nursing organizations more LGBT friendly, but they notice that LGBT people who make use of their service often go back in the closet. Gay Care has also won the support of several well know Dutch public personalities, like Boris Dittrich (former national politician and present LGBT ambassador for Human Rights Watch), Erwin Olaf (internationally well known photographer) and Ellie Lust (LBGT spokes person for the Amsterdam police).