Senior cohousing initiatives offer intimate living communities


September 17, 2010

Assisted living facilities are often not the place that seniors want to call home as they age. Many wish to retire into a small community with a group of close friends, and according to The New York Times, some seniors have started to create these living spaces.

The Cohousing Association of the United States is a national organization that was created 15 years ago and now keeps track of these communities throughout the country. Currently, it estimates that there are 120 cohousing settlements and another 80 to 100 currently being developed.

The mix of privacy and kinship proves especially attractive to those who want to age with friends and prefer an alternative housing option to a nursing home.

“People have formed some really strong relationships,” 81-year-old Dene Peterson, founder of the Elderspirit community, told the news provider. She added that, with close friends who are ready to assist with day-to-day activities such as meals and transportation, “people don’t go to rehab after the hospital, they come home.”

Seniors who are striving to live safely and independently may want to invest in a personal emergency response system. This device can allow an older adult to immediately alert friends, family or doctors should they need assistance.