Please Let Me Be Myself

How Almacasa Established the Swiss-LGBTI-Label and Why Every Nursing Home Should Consider It

By Vincenzo Paolino, Almacasa Founder and CEO 

In the mid 90’s, I served as the director of a nursing in a care home for 13 years. One thing always seemed strange to me. While I was openly gay, having my partner (we couldn’t say husband at the time) visiting or helping at events, I never another gay or lesbian resident.

The statistical odds in a community of around 100 adults are that there should be four to six individuals who feel attracted to the same sex. First, I thought the reason was because all the queer elders lived in Zurich, Switzerland, which is adjacent to the suburb the nursing home was located.

But in 2017, Zurich undertook a survey on its own and to my surprise it found only 2 persons identifying themselves as homosexual in a total of 1600 persons living in long term care facilities. The only explanation to me is that queer elders go back into the closet. Most try to be invisible.

It was a no-brainer for Almacasa to apply for the Swiss-LGBTI-Label when it was introduced in 2017. We checked our forms, terms of employment, and more to make them inclusive in terms of recognition and benefits. We amended our mission statement and put in place a training program for LGBTI-related topics in cooperation with local groups.

Today we are proud to show the LGBTI-Label on our website and to live to its values. Our community feels that inclusion for LGBTI means inclusion for all!

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