Tons of seniors are co-housing with friends after retirement
Senior co-living is cheaper and offers more privacy than a facility, but still provides the perks of a close-knit community.
Laura Shallcross
06.15.21

What you choose to do when you retire is entirely your decision. You may feel as if your life has already been chosen for you by the bigshots in your local area, but this certainly isn’t true.

Senior living and nursing homes are serious money-makers. That means the advertising departments for these facilities are going to do everything they can to convince you that you should choose this style of living when you’re retired.

Many of these facilities will use the words “luxury” and “exclusive” in their marketing to draw you in, making you feel as if you’ll join an elite club when you move in.

Abi Howard/ Unsplash
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Abi Howard/ Unsplash

Of course, there are so many benefits to homes for over 60s, including the reassurance of getting care when you need it. No judgment to you if you’re interested in following this path when you retire.

But senior living homes can also be expensive, so it’s no surprise that an alternative approach is starting to emerge.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
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PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

Senior-friendly co-housing communities are becoming more and more popular in the US. These communities feature between 20 and 40 homes, which are generally arranged in a circular fashion and face inward toward a shared green space.

Homes are connected via walking paths, with shared gardens for everyone to enjoy. There’s a “common house” that features a kitchen and dining room, as well as a living room and a laundry room.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
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PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

This style of living has plenty of benefits, so it’s unsurprising that it’s starting to amass serious interest.

For a start, community members can each bring their own skills to the table when it comes to taking on shared responsibility.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
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PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

Whether it’s plumbing, gardening, cooking or even playing card games, you’re bound to find an expert who’s willing to help out and teach other members of the community.

You still get your own privacy in a co-housing community, too.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
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PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

Compare it to a senior living facility, which is usually an apartment block, putting you in close quarters with your neighbors.

While you might want to socialize, it’s okay to still want your own house, and co-housing communities make this possible.

Perhaps the biggest co-housing benefit is its affordability.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
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PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

You’ll spend far less on living than you would in a typical retirement home, and downsizing means you’ll likely spend less than what you currently spend on your home, too.

While you don’t quite get the same level of care as you would in an assisted living facility, in a senior co-housing setup, you’ll still have plenty of people watching out for you. If you don’t leave home all day, and that’s out of the norm for you, your neighbors will be alerted to a potential issue.

If you’re looking for friends, you’ll find plenty of them in a senior co-housing community.

Юлія Вівчарик/ Unsplash
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Юлія Вівчарик/ Unsplash

You can spend quality time with like-minded people, eliminating the concern for loneliness.

You’ll also get to have a say on the activities your community partakes in, and you can turn other people onto the things you love. It’s rare that you’ll get this in a privately-run senior care home.

Whether you’re about to retire or just weighing up your options, co-housing communities are worth considering.

PBS NewsHour/ YouTube
Source:
PBS NewsHour/ YouTube

Watch the video below to further explore the subject of cohousing communities!

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By Laura Shallcross
hi@sbly.com
Laura Shallcross is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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