Work will begin on Spain’s first gay and lesbian retirement home in the coming weeks.

The December 26th Foundation in Madrid is named after the 1979 date when General Franco’s anti-gay law was repealed.

Gay rights activists say that negative attitudes towards homosexuality are still common in the elderly, especially in care homes.

According to the BBC, the luxury centre will have 115 apartments, a gym and a swimming pool. Residents will enjoy Yoga, Tai Chi and a restaurant.

Its owners say it will be openly to anyone, regardless of sexuality, but will be gay-friendly.

“We want to make sure old people who are gay can live out their lives freely with dignity and among equals,” said Federico Armenteros, a representative for the foundation.

Gay man Jose Maria Herreras, 65, has already made plans to move in as soon as work is completed.

He said that in his current accommodation, he is insulted and ignored by other residents because he is gay.

“I have to make myself as invisible as possible – go back in the closet – so they don’t notice me. And I spend as much time outside the home as possible,” he told the BBC.

“This is somewhere where everyone will be equal. It’s a totally different home where we won’t have to hide who we are. We will be people. I will be free again.”

Work on Australia’s first gay, lesbian and bisexual retirement village is to begin next year.

A 120-unit complex is being built in Ballan in Victoria with a croquet lawn, indoor spa and bar.