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&region=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/