Some less traditional concepts are popping up in the senior housing market and senior community in general. People are inventing what they want and need and can afford. The solution is not just that traditional senior retirement community with no maintenance promise and a sous/pastry chef and a continuum of health care that is high on the price list and low on the desirability scale for some.
To define some terms: A to V for now
Affinity Communities: Retirement communities are now being designed around specific ethnic groups with cultural emphasis. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/health/retirement-communities-indian-chinese.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below&_r=1.
See new blog on Nirvana by the Bay
Apartment for Seniors: Both an old and new concept. It may be difficult to nab that first floor apartment in non elevator buildings. When you approach a designated senior apartment complex there are entry rules over 62, maximum income limits but with rules that rent can not be more than 30% of an an applicant’s adjusted income. rent. Translation- you may have too much income to have low income senior housing. There may be limited transportation and supportive services..See http://hdcweb.com/2012/05/08/updated-list-of-available-apartments/
You can also now find a newer hybrid style apartment living in more recently built developments. There is security , a van to shuttle to local markets and some other niceties like a fitness center and the community room where activities are there for you ignore or partake. Would love to hear form someone in this situation as to the pros and cons.
CoHousing: I am making a place for this concept but will have to do more research to fully explain it. It started as shared housing ( you buy into apartment or house in a shared community) but it is usually inter generational. Trends are moving it towards more seniors. This is distinct from the Village networks. Intentional community is its hallmark.
This FAQ page from a proposed co housing community primarily for over 55 residents, will answer many questions. http://shepherdvillage.net/faq/
Echo cottage: The adult children build a mini me one level unit back behind their own home for aging parents. Not sure whose idea this is.
Golden Girls Network: They say what is old is new. This is still coming of age so to speak. With 1/3 of boomers being single this helps the single ladies who can live in harmony and share resources. Not a commune. You have to be aware of local zoning ordinances if you are trying to rent out your rooms to non family members. The website has grown in search engines since I first saw it a couple years ago. Check out http://goldengirlsnetwork.com/
Granny Pods: This is usually the caregiver’s solution, as in build a small cottage out back for your elder. In some parts of the county it is so popular that there are now regulations to prevent it by severely limiting size (300 square feet!) and location. Not to be confused with independently owned and operated so to speak -Tiny Homes.
SEE also Laneway Houses if you move to Canada:https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/calgary-housing-design-test-seniors-aging-in-place-architecture . Proposed small home that is leased for the back yard as a temporary solution.
NORC NO LONGER VALID LINK SEE UPDATED BLOG Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities. Originally this was presented to me as when a there are a large number of older residents that move into a geographic area, so many that they can then declare their community as senior only. Not sure where this is going right now. http://norcs.org/
Townhouses with internal elevators Newer developments, again for a hefty price are designing regular townhouses that have an internal elevator already in the footprint of the house. It starts out as a closet but can but used later on to access the two to three floors of the townhouses.
UBRC: University Based retirement communities. Communities build around the location and resources of a college or university. Not too many but see here at : http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/9-3-14-seniors-head-back-to-school/
Village Movement concept This is to me the most exciting concept to come along with the aging in place movement. Watch your goggle search words, everyone loves to sell you the “Village concept” which is another way of selling you a unit in a for profit or even non profit retirement community.
Citizens in their original homes within a town form a cooperative (not a commune) of services. There is a pay in fee but services can obtained by exchange or by contract such as handy man help. The prize for they are doing it right and the longest I think goes to Beacon Hill in Boston. 10 years of a real member managed/ member driven association that provides many benefits for those staying in their own homes. See what is about at:http://beaconhillvillage.org/
This resource is of course highly localized See how it grows…http://www.vtvnetwork.org/