The Many Benefits of Senior or Elder Cohousing
Listing the many benefits of senior or
elder cohousing begins with the words friendship and safety.
There are so many benefits to senior cohousing that it is hard to make a comprehensive list. Some of the benefits are:
1. Friendships Stop Social Loneliness Social loneliness is caused by the lack of friends and acquaintances and is worsened by the isolation of retirement and/or by living in apartments or suburban neighborhoods. Cohousing immediately ends the isolation of apartment and/or suburban living and helps replace workday friends. And, although social opportunities exist in all retirement housing, cohousing makes it much easier and quicker to make social friends, particularly for those who are somewhat shy.
2. Ends Emotional Loneliness Retirement can be lonely for many, particularly those who are far from or have no close family. It is also a problem for seniors who are single. Emotional loneliness comes from having no one to share your intimate thoughts. Even one "best friend" can end emotional loneliness. In fact, seniors who have at least one person to share their emotional lives generally live longer than those who do not have that privilege. Cohousing provides the first step in making an intimate friend by providing close and repetitive situations with people who are like-minded.
3. Better Physical Health Cohousing makes it possible to share exercise with others who are similar to you in physical fitness and age. The common areas of a cohousing community usually have walking trails with planned exercise areas in the common house. Meals that are nutritionally balanced, home-cooked, non-processed, and organic are generally available without the daily cooking hassle. Meal time is shared with friends. Friends generally make seniors more healthy, even physically.
4. Better Mental Health Social and intimate support, shared hobby areas, planned meditation and quiet areas plus the mental stimulation of activities, make cohousing a better place for your mental health to flourish.
5. Physical Safety-In a cohousing community, all residents know each other well. When a stranger is spotted, he/she can either be questioned immediately or law enforcement officers can be called to do this. Gated communities are possible in many situations.
6. Shared resources, Saved Time, and Lowered Living Costs Cohousing allows residents access to more facilities than they would have on their own such as community gardens, greenhouse, game/card areas, workshops, art/craft areas, and shared dining and kitchen facilities in the community areas. Local food and other buying co-ops can be formed with optional membership from residents and even membership among the outlying community if desired. Shared meals, car pooling, less yard work, more on-site activities, smaller homes, clustered housing, trading goods, and shared guest rooms all help lower living costs. Shared chores and less duplication of effort save an abundance of time for cohousing seniors.
7. Private, Quiet Times Cohousing provides private living, dining and kitchen facilities within a private home with some home styles providing small private outdoor living areas as well. Senior cohousing also adds a measure of quietness that will not be available in intergenerational cohousing.
8. Earth Friendly There are more opportunities to reduce, reuse, and recycle when working as a group. Rather than use space for houses, streets, and parking, clustered housing allows cohousing communities to preserve much of the green space of the site. Passive solar housing can be designed. Some alternative energy sources can be included in the community and even within the homes. You will be leaving a greener earth to your children and grandchildren. Many seniors and their heirs consider this much more important than leaving money.
Senior Cohousing Directory
Active Lifestyle of Elder
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Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.