Don’t Age Alone: CoHousing for Older Adults

Don’t Age Alone: CoHousing for Older Adults

Cohousing is a trend that’s spreading rapid fire across the country. From young families to retirees, a cohousing community is a wonderful way to share responsibilities and build connections with other people.

What is a cohousing community? Good question. Cohousing communities are tight-knit clusters of homes around common spaces. Community members share responsibilities from cooking and cleaning to yard work, and participate in social activities and interactions from community meals to even game nights. The two main focuses of cohousing communities are self-management and sustainability.

Is cohousing the right choice for you? Follow these tips to learn more about cohousing and find out.

  • Go At Your Comfort Level – Cohousing communities are available at different levels of interaction and participation. If you’re more private, there are definitely options for you! You can also find communities with a deeper level of interaction if you desire.
  • Network – Just like building a new friend group or even starting a business, you need to network with potential neighbors for a cohousing community. If you’re staring a new one, connect with people online, at your farmer’s markers, or through community organizations that might be interested. If you want to join an existing community, search databases like this one to start.
  • Pay A Visit – Pay a visit to a community in your area to get a feel for what it would be like to be a part of one. Take a tour of the community, enjoy a meal, or sit in on a meeting.
  • Think About Timing – If you’re recently retired and are considering aging in a cohousing community, you might not have time to explore your options and really think, as building a new community could take years. Think about joining an existing community. Some communities offer rent agreements rather than buy only, if you’re worried about making a big decision too quickly.
  • Talk To Your Financial Advisor – Just like any other move, investing in a cohousing community requires a down payment. Talk to your advisor to get a second opinion and to help avoid unnecessary risks.
  • Health Comes First – Don’t forget to plan for your health needs if you’re aging in a cohousing community. Form a co-care agreement with neighbors to outline the level of support you can expect from one another, from helping with meals and ride to the doctor to being there in a medical crisis. Some communities can also accommodate nurses, caregivers or other family members if needed.
  • Give, Not Take – Expect to give as well as receive in your cohousing community. Ask yourself what you can do to contribute to the overall community wellbeing.

Want to learn more about cohousing communities? Check out:

To find existing communities, visit the Cohousing Directory. If you want to build your own, find quality builders and financial planners to start.

What do you know about cohousing? What are your specific questions? Comment below!

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