Typically, in the United States, housing options for older adults have fallen into two broad categories. One—by far the most popular choice—is to continue to live independently, ideally aging in place in your own home. The other is to move into designated senior housing that offers formal services. This type of housing could vary from an independent living community, which provides moderate support such as transportation, housekeeping, and perhaps some meals, to full support, such as is provided in a skilled nursing facility.
Given the issues outlined above, the need for more innovative alternatives is clear. We suggest a third option: what we call, “aging better together intentionally.” Aging better together means living in a housing situation where older adults look out for one another without a formal service net to support them. Already there are at least three options that fall into this category: elder cohousing, senior housing cooperatives, and shared housing. Of these, elder cohousing is the newest, but possibly the most well-researched. To varying degrees, these alternatives reflect the model of aging better together intentionally (Glass and Vander Plaats, 2013).
A second issue is the community location, which presents its own set of questions, particularly in terms of accessibility, walkability, and neighborhood environmental safety. Is there access to public transportation? What happens when you cannot drive and you need to get food at a grocery store? Is the neighborhood safe? Does the community situation provide natural opportunities to connect? Do you know your neighbors? Are air and water quality sufficiently monitored?
I feel so not ready to move into a place to die. Got so much going on and I’d really like to kick ass for a few more years. In MY place. With PRIVACY.
As long as I don’t get injured or run out of money I can do it by myself.
But I’d also like to be around other LIKE-MINDED people to share tasks and expenses. I like to meet young people. Intellectuals. I like to build, test, research, and improve, … i.e. kick ass, not prepare to die.