June 23, 2023 —When you ask Ken Irvine, a resident of The Admiral at the Lake, how he feels about residing at the senior living community, he’s quick to share that, “I’m very happy living here. It’s friendly. We have all sorts of group activities and endless committees that one can join. I feel accepted and welcomed.”
And that is a huge part of the mission at The Admiral at the Lake. They strive to be a community where everyone is welcome, celebrated, and encouraged to take part in the activities. As a community where residents run many programs and events, leadership and residents alike support the mission to foster a friendly and inclusive living environment where everyone can truly be themselves–and thrive. This makes The Admiral an ideal place for seniors to retire, especially for those looking for an accepting community.
Thanks in part to our location in Chicago, we are surrounded by a significant LGBTQ greater community. Older adults in the LGBTQ community who are searching for an inclusive senior living community may have trouble navigating the process. They are twice as likely to live alone and four times less likely to have children, which can limit their long term care options.
LGBTQ seniors are welcome at The Admiral and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Brit Vipham, Director of Project Management at The Admiral shares, “One of the core elements of our culture is inclusivity. It’s not something we say, it’s something we live every day.
“We are intentional with our actions and interactions to ensure we are welcoming to all and create a sense of belonging where individuals identify as a full and valued member of the community. We celebrate all and encourage the community to come as their true self.”
What Makes The Admiral Stand Out?
The Admiral at the Lake has a firm belief in welcoming, inclusive, and celebrating all residents. Communication and cooperation are the foundation of how The Admiral functions.
Vipham elaborates “Any resident committee is open to anyone interested. All activities are resident-driven. They are the lead and we as the management team help support whatever their interests are. We’re a consensus-built organization and we include everyone’s voice for decisions.”
The Admiral at the Lake also participates in Pride, where residents and staff walked in the Chicago Pride Parade and they will participate again this year.
Earning a SAGECare Credential
The Admiral at the Lake earned a platinum SAGECare credential. SAGECare is a nonprofit organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors. The platinum accreditation is the highest credential an older adult service provider can earn.
The Admiral at the Lake has earned this credential with 80% of executives and 80% of staff completing training in care with an emphasis on cultural competency for older adults in the LGBTQ community.
This training provides The Admiral employees with methods and best practices for fostering an inclusive environment for current residents and potential residents who are part of the LGBTQ community. It also covers topics about identifying the community’s needs and concerns, as well as ways to address them and find solutions.
For example, staff display pronouns on name tags and in email signatures. “We have been extremely intentional to share pronouns as a community, to ensure all know they are welcome regardless of their gender identity,” says Vipham.
Equipped with the best practices in the industry, staff at The Admiral are ready to help LGBTQ seniors live their best lives at any level of care, whether it’s independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing, or rehabilitation.
The Admiral at the Lake Foundation
The Admiral at the Lake Foundation was formed in 2005 and supports residents and staff at The Admiral as well as providing support for all seniors in the surrounding community.
One of the key points of the foundation is to provide financial support for residents who have run out of funds through no fault of their own, allowing them to stay at The Admiral. There have also been steps to start building a financial support system to help bring equity to those of varying socioeconomic backgrounds.
Goals for the foundation include spreading awareness and outreach to support more seniors beyond The Admiral’s community, yet again, emphasizing the focus on inclusivity and equity.
Everyone Has a Place at The Admiral
The Admiral at the Lake in Chicago, IL, is proud to be an inclusive community welcoming all residents. Our residents are supportive of one another and all contribute to making The Admiral a friendly senior living community.
“Feeling a sense of belonging as your authentic self is crucial to living out a long, joyful life,” says Vipham,Providing a safe space for older adults to continue the authentic lives they lived outside of The Admiral is essential to maintaining a sense of community as they enter this next chapter of their lives.”
Irvine, who writes profiles on new residents for The Anchor, The Admiral at the Lake’s newsletter, loves asking what people are most looking forward to when they move in. “Not having to cook!” Is the most frequent answer. And fortunately, The Admiral has a variety of delicious dining options for residents.
Irvine continues, “Of course, there is the social aspect. These people oftentimes are coming from a situation of some degree of isolation. Now they have plenty of social opportunities. The Admiral simplifies life for our residents.”
And Irvine couldn’t be more correct. The Admiral takes care of home maintenance, utilities, and promptly responds to problems so residents can continue to live care-free.
Visit Us at The Admiral at the Lake
The Admiral at the Lake is committed to fostering a close-knit community that values diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging. Even if you’ve struggled to find a place that feels like home, we’re confident you’ll find happiness and acceptance at The Admiral.
Everyone is listened to and supported. The Admiralat the Lake gives all seniors the environment where they can live as their authentic selves and flourish.
“If you’re feeling like you don’t belong, I promise there’s a place for you. Come down to The Admiral and get to know us better,” says Vipham.
Experience The Admiral for yourself and schedule your visit for a personalized tour.