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Goodbye Nursing Homes! The New Trend Is CoHousing With Friends

Nursing homes have been the only real option available for elderly, retired seniors who are unable to live alone anymore but also don’t have family nearby who are able to add them to their household. Despite the fact that this is a common option, nobody likes facing the decision of whether or not to move themselves (or their parent!) into a potentially lonely, unwelcoming nursing home. That’s what makes this new evolution in senior housing such a great alternative! I give you: senior cohousing.

 senior cohousing

What Exactly Is Senior Cohousing?

This unique kind of senior care is exactly what it sounds like. A cohousing community’s intent is to ensure that every member has privacy and a space of their own. Each member of the community has their own apartment or house, all while also having access to shared spaces. This means that every senior living in the cohousing community would have their own private space while living near friends who share more public spaces like a dining area, library, cinema center, fitness center, garden, and more. (1)

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking for a more comfortable option for senior housing, one with a real community and a better quality of life. Nursing homes can be incredibly depressing for a lot of people. Especially since it is the final destination for a great many seniors before passing on. Loneliness, isolation, and other negative emotions are often connected with nursing homes, leading to poor quality of life. A cohousing opportunity provides many of the benefits that a nursing home could provide without the negative connotations attached! (1)

Benefits of Senior Cohousing Compared to Nursing Homes

Both nursing homes and senior cohousing have their lists of pros and cons. It’s important to consider all of the positives and negatives before making the decision on whether to use either one of them. Every senior has unique needs and requirements, many of which make them better suited for one type of home over another. So do your research, understand your options, and keep in mind the basic pros and cons! Here are a few aspects to consider:

1. Community

The cool thing about both nursing homes and senior cohousing is that both provide community and events for residents to enjoy. Social opportunities are common for nursing homes and senior cohousing. What makes senior cohousing so great, however, is that seniors are easily able to have their own personal friends nearby rather than a hall full of strangers. (1, 2)

2. Privacy

While both nursing homes and senior cohousing offer a private residence, senior cohousing has a little bit more privacy. That’s because residents are not placed in such close quarters with each other. You can have your own house or apartment with senior cohousing, while nursing homes tend to offer smaller rooms much closer together. (1, 2)

3. Expense & Care

An outright con for nursing homes is the expense that goes along with them. Nursing homes tend to be full-time facilities with well-trained staff and plenty of care. However, all of which comes at a price. Senior cohousing airs on the less expensive side of senior living since many of the residents share resources. That being said, nursing homes often have more experienced and attentive caretakers. Both nursing homes and senior cohousing are safer than a senior living alone, but a good nursing home with good staff can be more attentive than an observant neighbor in a senior cohousing community. (1, 2)

Senior Cohousing might not be for Everyone

It is definitely a wonderful opportunity for many seniors. Especially if they find the idea of a nursing home saddening, lonely, or depressing. Senior cohousing allows seniors to maintain some control over what they do, set their own schedules, and maintain their own friendships. It could be the perfect fit for many seniors who don’t need constant care!

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