Forget nursing homes! Welcome co-housing, communal homes for our beloved aging friends
- The Facts:
Many seniors are living in isolation in nursing and retirement homes nationwide. This often leads to loneliness and depression.
- Reflect On:
There must be a better way! There is, imagine growing old with purpose, passion and community. Not only for yourself, but for your parents, grandparents and aging friends as well.
When I came across this topic and decided to write about it, I was blown away that this isn’t already more of a “thing” and it isn’t very common for seniors to shack up together and live in communities. This is especially shocking as many elders are living in complete isolation, which has been shown to cause anxiety and depression.
If you are thinking, isn’t that what nursing homes are for? So they don’t have to live alone, in isolation? — well, contrary to popular belief, nursing homes can be very lonely places for elderly people. In fact, it is not uncommon for elderly people to experience social isolation, leading to depression and loneliness right inside these homes. Many believe that a nursing home would alleviate these issues, but these feelings of depression don’t go away and in many cases, they only worsen.
In the Western world, a nursing home is the most common place for seniors to go once they reach a certain age. It seems this is symptomatic of our culture because in many other countries the elderly people live with their adult children and grandchildren and are taken care of in their old age. They would never dream of dropping their parents off at a retirement home just because their parents have reached a certain point in their lives where it is difficult for them to care for themselves.
Is It Finally Time To Revamp Retirement Homes?
The concept of community housing for our retired and aging friends has recently come into awareness, and really, I couldn’t think of a more brilliant solution to a system that is not really working for millions of seniors across the country–well, entire western world more likely.
How Does This Work?
However you wish! Some seniors prefer to have their own space within a community setting with communal spaces to share and socialize in. A tiny home community could work well for this type of setting. Others prefer having a large house and having other seniors as roommates, encouraging more connection on a regular basis. Also, some options include having seniors live with other families with children in communities. It’s really up to the specific individual, as we all have different needs, including seniors. Often the nursing homes have a sort of one-size-fits-all approach, and they often cost a small fortune to boot.
Buying a piece of land and parking tiny homes on it or pooling some finances together to purchase a larger house would undoubtedly be cheaper than the combined cost of staying in a nursing home. They can also cook together and share meals together, which would be much more cost effective than the food offered in a nursing home.
Benefits Of Senior Community Homes
The seniors themselves get to decide exactly what they want to create, as the co-housing communities are founded and run by the members. Instead of the high-priced care from nursing homes, the members of the communities agree to take care of one another. If it’s too much, they could likely afford to have a nurse come to the home at scheduled times with the money they’ve saved. Ideally, they would look out for one another and keep a schedule so that everyone stays on track with important dates. Maybe they even have some animals to bring them joy and affection, gardens to get them outside in the sun, and plenty of hobbies and activities to work on together. Really, the benefits are endless here, as long as they are able to cooperate and get along with the other residents of the community, it would work out well.
Children of these seniors would feel better knowing that their parents are enjoying their final years accompanied by friends and fun.
Someone needs to design a website that can assist the connection of like-minded seniors within certain cities or states, so they can make profiles discussing their likes, interests and hobbies and find friends with similar passions. Like tinder, but a whole lot more innocent. 😉
What do you think of this idea? Would you like to live in a co-housing community when you reach old age rather than be alone for your final years? Let us know what you think in the comments!