New assisted living center meets needs of gay seniors

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California is now home to one of the first gay senior centers in the country.Advertisement

It’s a place that is actively recruiting clients with alternative lifestyles.

87-year-old Wells Bain is the first client at Camellia Assisted Living in Fair Oaks, California.

The owners here say it’s the first center in the state catering to lesbian and gay seniors. But it is open to any older person needing help with daily chores- even straight clients like Wells Bain who is blind in one eye, but sees himself as a very tolerant person.

“I was like a kid at 65. I learned more about the human nature since I was 65 than I did before,” said Bain.

The inspiration behind Camellia Assisted Living is Ruth Caway.

She opened her own care home years ago, but wanted to support her daughter who opened this place just six months ago.

A place where Ruth and her partner could one day end up.

“A lot of lesbians when I was raising kids didn’t have kids. And now they do. So the ones that are older that didn’t have children back then will be looking for some place loving to be,” Ruth Caway said.

The Camellia Assisted Living Facility feels more like a bed and breakfast than it does a senior center, but the owners here have a business model, designed to tap into the growing number of older gays and lesbians needing assistance.

Owner Joseph Gsell said, “There’s about three million elderly gays right now over the age of 65.”

And so the marketing message over the internet promotes a place that is alternative lifestyle friendly.

A six bedroom facility that’s open to all seniors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

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