If you're a baby-boomer, you probably have been through or are going through the experience of helping out your aging parents. The traditional senior housing options for them included gated retirement communities, assisted living "facilities" and nursing homes. Many of us boomers have been seeking an alternative to those options, while at the same time realizing that living alone in a house or apartment as we age is not a wise choice, either. Enter "the new kid on the block": co-housing. It's a concept that's been around a long time in Europe, but is still relatively new in the U.S. But it's a trend that is gaining momentum. The Cohousing Association of the United States recently reported that there are now 160 functioning co-housing communities, and 130 in the process of being built. To date, about a dozen of those 160 are senior projects. Co-housing isn't for everone, but it's a viable option for many, and worth a look. If you'd like to find out more AARP has several good introductory articles. I recommend starting with "Aging Better Together" by Anne P. Glass.
Thanks for reading and I hope this gives you some food for thought.
life is truly a journey with a definite destination in the end..,.death...sometimes we need a helping hand and a loving hug to proceed with the journey or meet the destination. sounds like a good idea for someone like me, living alone in a home larger than I need. bob
Bob, that's exactly one of the reasons I began Guanajuato Cohousing here in Mexico. I had built a 3 bed/2 bath home all on one level, in order to bring my parents down here to live with me. Unfortunately, they both passed away before I finished the house. Now, after 13 years living in this big place alone, I just retired. If you'd like to read the full story of how GTO COHO was born, please ask to join our Facebook group: Guanajuato Cohousing Project. It's a closed group, so you have to first answer three questions. Then, an admin. will approve your request. Maybe this might give you an idea of how to form your OWN cohousing in that too-big house!
This covers all different kinds of "intentional communities" from cohousing to ecovillages to house-sharing. I have been following it very closely as the model in the formation of the Guanajuato cohousing community. It includes stories of success and failure, and, more importantly the WHYs. It's not just for someone who is trying to form a community, but has good advice for those LOOKING for one, too.
"Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities" by Diana Leafe Christian. You can download it free as a PDF or find it for sale on the web.
Another good read: "With a LIttle Help from our Friends: Creating Community as We Grow Older" by Beth Baker. It covers LOTS of possible options from cohousing to cooperatives, house-sharing to programs designed to assist those who decide to live alone, but with a neighborhood or apartment "network".