What is Senior Cohousing?
Senior cohousing is an intentionally cooperative neighborhood where common facilities are creatively shared yet where each household owns their home and has ample privacy and maximum control over their involvement. The close knit design and self management of cohousing communities, where neighbors see each other more often in the coming and going of their daily lives, provides economic, social, health, and security benefits creating real social capital important to seniors. Senior cohousing is really retirement housing for those that don’t want to ever retire from living a proactive, meaningful and mindful life. There are some advantages to cohousing for seniors worth exploring.
1. Affordability – typical cohousing units are much smaller than single family homes yet they maintain the functionality of a single family home. Seniors who are “house rich but cash poor” could sell their single family home, move into a smaller cohousing unit and realize some of the equity in their home to assist in supporting them in the coming years. Cohousers can have smaller houses because they have the benefit of a shared common house and the cooperation that occurs there.
2. Reduced operating Costs – seniors living in cohousing typically report significant savings in monthly living expenses due to the sharing of facilities and equipment, cooking together saves money versus buying and cooking all your own food, smaller units means smaller utility and tax bills and reduced maintenance costs vs. a single family house.
3. Aging in Place – the homes are designed to allow the owners to age in place in their community by including features in the design that may be needed later in life when the owners needs change (eg. Large bathrooms that enable future installation of roll in showers or baths if mobility issues arise).
4. Quality of Life – perhaps most important of all, cohousing developments improve the quality of life of seniors by giving them a support network of neighbours to socialize with, help each other out and engage in activities with.
5. Resource Use – Seniors in cohousing will save the City / District considerable resources by helping one another, and by being cared for by younger members of their cohousing community. This means they’ll be less dependent on meals on wheels, home hospice, fire department calls, etc. Additionally, seniors will be part of a community of people living in sustainably built homes.
Want more information?
Windsong is currently the only cohousing property in Langley. For more information visit: www.windsong.bc.ca