The tide of aging boomers and seniors grows and moves on and so hopefully do the solutions to their individual housing needs. I try to keep my senior housing blog, http://waystostay.org/?s=senior+housing updated as a reference, but I want to refresh it with some finer details about what to watch for.
First: How is co housing doing? The is the concept that you buy into create an intentional community (either multi generational or senior only) of people who have their individual houses but share tasks and meet communally on a regular basis. The biggest complaint I have heard about this chosen lifestyle is that is is more expensive to buy into then just downsizing and buying a smaller house . Also the senior only concept has really not been road tested, as who is doing the the literal heavy lifting in the community. This article also lauds the glory of newer style of co housing, an example the ‘rock till your drop’ aspect of finding kindred spirits. This article gives an alternative to the expensive land buy in. RV park anyone? http://www.nextavenue.org/not-your-mothers-retirement-home/?hide_newsletter=true&utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=42aa77d9d8-03_09_2017_Thursday_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-42aa77d9d8-165618277&mc_cid=42aa77d9d8&mc_eid=207e1e9158 . But again who is there to help with services when needed, do you contract with home health care ahead of time?
Third: For a more future forward look (as I always tend to be), check out what they are doing in Minneapolis. It touches the more pressing question of how do we create/convert enough new styles of affordable housing? One again the Next Avenue blog offered this interesting article on the practical side re affordability. http://www.nextavenue.org/will-find-housing-aging-population/?hide_newsletter=true&utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=42aa77d9d8-03_09_2017_Thursday_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-42aa77d9d8-165618277&mc_cid=42aa77d9d8&mc_eid=207e1e9158 The abandoned malls as they are popping up as regular retail dies, are spaces that can be converted. It points out an existing example of an abandoned school that was converted into senior apartments. Want to live in the equivalency of your kids’s first grade class room? You do get your own little girl’s/boy’s bathroom.
As always, it comes back to your own personal draw on the difference between a house and a home. Making a new community to share the challenges and hopes of others trying to age in their own ‘place’ is gaining momentum. Let us hope some of these shiny bubbles don’t burst as they move forward. We need a groundswell of options for all.