Senior Co-Housing – What Is It?
When it comes to finding the right type of care facility for your senior loved one, you will find there is no shortage of available options. However, not all senior care communities are created equal. There are different types of senior housing options, all designed with different types of seniors in mind. One of the lesser-explored housing options that many families aren’t aware of is known as senior co-housing. If you aren’t already familiar with this housing option, here is everything you need to know about senior co-housing.
So, what is it?
According to the official definition, run by the Cohousing Association of the United States, senior cohousing is an “intentional community or private homes clustered around a shared space.” In these cohousing communities, all of the seniors live in private attached homes or condos but share different amenities and properties with other senior residents.
The housing options can vary, and typically there is a “common house” on the premises. This includes a kitchen used for preparing community meals as well as a living room and dining room used for resident gatherings. There are typically also bedrooms in these common homes meant for caregivers or guests.
Depending on the setup, these co-housing communities may also have larger common spaces such as pools, fitness centers and media centers.
With this information on senior co-housing you can make an informed decision about whether or not senior co-housing may be viable option for you and your loved one.
What are the benefits of co-housing?
There are many seniors who choose co-housing as their preferred assisted living option because of all of the perks that come with this housing options. Here are some of the many benefits of senior co-housing that are having more and more seniors turning to this assisted living solution.
- It allows for more independence with seniors living in their own homes or condos, but there is still a strong support system.
- There are plenty of communal meals and activities.
- It provides a social outlet for seniors and helps prevent loneliness and isolation.
- It helps families who know their senior loved one is surrounded by others in a supportive community.
- These co-housing communities are designed to be sustainable and affordable.
- Many of these communities are able to cut down on waste and resources consumption by sharing food, energy, maintenance costs and other expenses.
It is important to note that these communities are not retirement communities. They are owned and operated by the residents themselves. There is no professional management company overseeing everything, unless the community of residents decides on hiring one for things such as meal prep and laundry. Many times, in cohousing communities, residents must purchase their own homes or condos, similar to purchasing an actual house.
Now that you are aware of some of the intricacies of senior co-housing, you can determine if this type of living situation may benefit your loved one now, or in the future.
Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.