Only Elder Housing

Including Younger faces in Elder, Senior Cohousing

Younger Facesin Senior or Elder Cohousing

How can seniors include younger people in their day-to-day life while maintaining a separate cohousing community?

Locating within a safe walking distance of retail shops is one way to accomplish this.

Jane Adler is a free-lance writer who specializes in senior topics, particularly senior housing. In writing for the ChicagoTribune, she opines, "The dirty little secret of seniors-only buildings is that residents don’t wantto see only old people. Fresh, young faces make a difference."

Bob Wilson agrees and writes, "My father lives in a retirement community of 100 plus seniors. The average age there is over 80. I visit often and we usually eat with everyone else in the dining area. When I bring my toddling granddaughter along, she lights up the entire room."

How can seniors include younger people in their day-to-day life while maintaining separate cohousing communities?

Location, Location, Location.

1. Locate within (safe) walking distance of retail centers, parks, or community centers. 

2. Locate near a day-care center where seniors can volunteer to be gramps or granny for the day. Everyone loves babies.

3. Locate near an urban/suburban central area or possible future suburban shopping area, even if retail is not there yet.  A concentration of seniors who need places to shop and eat will eventually bring in some development. In turn, those storefronts will bring in all ages to shop and eat.


Rentals might also help. 

1. Second-Story Housing Rentals: When senior cohousing is one story, build a few 1.5 story homes to include a small efficiency apartment for, possibly, a quiet college student. 

2. First-Story Retail Rentals: When urban senior cohousing is in a multi-story building and in appropriate retail areas, leave the first-story available for rental.

3. Community Retail: Some general cohousing communities and other forms of housing such as urban apartments are including retail units in their plans. A small restaurant is particularly appealing to seniors.

4. The second story of a common house is also a potential location for rentals.

See more about rentals here.


Combining  senior cohousing with intergenerational cohousing probably makes sense. Two separate, but adjacent, cohousing communities, one with seniors, one for all ages, is certainly a possible solution, particularly if the two cohousing communities share some commonalities. 

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