In most parts of the world, it’s common for people to send aging parents to a nursing home so they have someone by their side as they age. In North America, however, families tend to live separately. This is especially hard for aging parents who have no one to take care of them. For obvious reasons, not everyone can take in their agent parents to live with them. The only option left is retirement homes, but not everyone is excited about the idea.
Well, that was until a new viable option emerged – co-housing with friends.
The concept of senior co-housing is a new model for aging people which can replace retirement homes in the future. Why? Well, first and foremost, it’s not that costly, and secondly, it brings seniors together.
As we age, mobility is becoming a serious problem. Co-housing is a new concept of building a community of seniors who help each other in their own private living space. They share the bathroom, kitchen, living room, laundry room, fitness room, and whatever else comes in the package. For reasonable living conditions, experts suggest 40 co-housing homes per community.
The idea is not that far-fetched as it may sound and has already been adopted in many states. By living with their peers, seniors find people with similar interests. Additionally, this model has environmental and practical support as well since each aging person is a part of a larger community.
The benefits of senior co-housing far outweigh those of nursing homes.
Think a nursing home doesn’t cost that much? Think again. In the long-term, the average cost of a nursing home is just under $7,000 for semi-private rooms and over that number for private rooms. The more care an aging person needs, the greater the expenses.
When it comes to co-housing homes, that number is significantly lower. Of course, it comes with a drawback – there’s no daily medical care provided.
Living in a Community
Loneliness and depression among seniors is a big concern. Thankfully, it can be eliminated with co-housing. Although there are social activities in a nursing home, it’s still an institution. On the other hand, co-housing means living in a community with peers.
Most senior co-housing projects have various social activities planned for all residents and lots of green space where they can relax. In this regard, it feels a lot better than nursing homes.
Everyone needs some private time and senior co-housing communities offer exactly that. Unless you pay for a premium room, nursing homes aren’t very private. Of course, as an institution, they’re much more structured which may or may not fit a person’s individual wants and needs.
Aging people need help, but they also need autonomy and privacy. They can have it all in co-housing communities for only a fraction of the price. Once they enter, they can choose to be private or social – no one is forcing them to do anything.
The new concept of senior co-housing communities will need some time to replace retirement homes. It’s a completely new idea that has many pros and cons – luckily, the former outweighs the latter.
That being said, people will still need to get used to the idea before it becomes hot. The good thing is that many states are already adopting the model and we think it’s only a matter of time before others follow.