Affordable Senior Cohousing: 
Modern Living Trend

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What Is Senior Cohousing Exactly?

Senior cohousing is a unique and innovative living arrangement specifically designed for adults aged 50 and above. In this living situation, seniors have their own homes or apartments, while sharing communal spaces such as walkways, lawns, and outdoor areas. Some cohousing communities offer seniors private living quarters while sharing a common kitchen, dining room, and living room, creating a strong sense of community. This approach is founded on the “Aging Better Together Intentionally” model, in which older individuals accept that they are aging. For them, aging constitutes a new challenge that they can try to tackle through solidarity.

Senior cohousing offers the perfect combination of community belonging and independent living. Seniors can participate in group activities, spend time with each other, and share resources such as cooking meals, gardening, and watching TV shows together. This sort of connection and interaction is essential for mental well-being in older adults.

What makes senior cohousing unique from other retirement living options is that only active seniors live in cohousing. Cohousing is not designed to provide round-the-clock care or medical support, so seniors who join must be able to contribute and share resources with the group.

It is important to note that senior cohousing may not be suitable for seniors who struggle with lack of mobility or serious illness. Cohousing does not offer medical support, monitoring, or round-the-clock care in the way an assisted living facility does. Seniors who reside in cohousing must be able to live independently, but they can take advantage of the supportive community and sense of belonging that cohousing provides.

The Many Benefits of Senior Cohousing

As senior cohousing gains popularity, it’s important to understand why so many older adults are choosing this unique living arrangement over traditional options. The benefits of senior cohousing are numerous and significant. Here are just a few of them:

Decreased Feeling of Loneliness

Loneliness and social isolation are major concerns for seniors, with studies showing that they can have serious negative effects on health and well-being, while also impacting as many as one senior in three. 

However, living in a senior cohousing community can help reduce feelings of isolation.

Seniors in cohousing can enjoy the benefits of social interaction, companionship, and a sense of belonging, as they live in close proximity to like-minded individuals who share similar interests and experiences. They can participate in various community events, such as game nights, parties, or dinners, and take part in activities such as gardening, painting or crafting, while having access to shared spaces like lounges or outdoor areas, which encourage socializing and promote a sense of community. In this way, seniors can form new friendships, support networks, and meaningful connections that can improve their mental and physical health, and enhance their overall quality of life.

Facilities For Staying Active

In addition to the social benefits, senior cohousing communities also offer facilities that promote physical activity and exercise. Many communities provide shared fitness facilities, such as gyms or yoga studios, where seniors can engage in regular exercise to maintain their physical health. Some communities offer outdoor spaces for seniors to engage in physical activities such as walking, jogging, or gardening. Additionally, some senior cohousing communities have pools that can be used for exercise and relaxation.

By staying active, seniors can improve their cardiovascular health, maintain mobility, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Exercise has also been shown to benefit mental health, helping to slow down the decline in cognitive function and reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.

Safety and Security

Senior cohousing communities offer increased safety and security for their residents. Neighbors can watch out for each other, taking care of each other’s house when out of town, or checking in on each other’s pets. Cohousing communities are especially beneficial for seniors who are starting to struggle with mobility or suffer from other minor health issues. Cohousing residents can receive help sooner in case of emergency or medical issues.

Living alone as a senior may also lead to missing out on medical help and having no one to check in on them. However, seniors in cohousing can count on their neighbors to provide assistance when needed, which can offer more reassurance as they age.

An Affordable and Practical Alternative

Senior cohousing not only offers various social, personal, and health benefits for older adults, but it is also a practical and affordable option for those on fixed incomes. Housing expenses can be a considerable burden for seniors, and cohousing can help to reduce these costs while providing additional benefits.

Living in a cohousing community can result in significant savings. According to Senior Advice, seniors could save up to $70,000 compared to other options. There States where subsidized cohousing is available for as low as $500/month.

Moreover, sharing resources is encouraged in cohousing. Seniors can pool their money for lawn care, food and groceries, utilities, and maintenance expenses, among other things. This could further reduce the cost of living.

The Search for Senior Cohousing

Overall, senior cohousing offers a unique option for older adults who want to live independently while enjoying a strong sense of community. By sharing spaces and resources, seniors can reduce costs, combat loneliness, stay active, and feel safe and secure.

With the increasing popularity of senior cohousing, more and more people are considering it as a housing option in the future. Therefore, it’s wise to begin researching senior cohousing early on. Conducting your search early can help you find the right community that meets your budget and needs.

To start your search, you can utilize online resources to research different senior cohousing options. It’s important to consider factors such as the cost, available amenities, access to essential services, and the community’s atmosphere. Inquire about shared resources and communal spaces, and learn about community activities and events.

Comparing different cohousing communities is also recommended. This enables you to determine which community is the best fit for your budget, interests, and needs. You’ll want a senior cohousing arrangement that provides you with independence and flexibility, social connections and events, and your own personal space. You can also consider going in person and talk to the people living there to get a better idea of the everyday life. As always, do your own research and compare all of your options, as it is the best way to find the ideal community for your golden years. 

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