Aging is inevitable process and when a person reaches its old age it is most likely to spend its remaining years of life in a nursing home. This happens when there is no relative living nearby and when the senior cannot take care of himself or herself alone.
However, these homes can be very depressing for most of the seniors making them more alone and very unhappy. Each person wants to be happy even when being old and for this generation this can be achieved if they replace the nursing home with senior cohousing.
This new alternative provides them with the company they need but still have their own privacy. Namely, seniors live in their own house or apartment having their own space and bedroom, the only difference is in sharing other spaces. The positive side of senior cohousing is that they have shared spaces where they are daily interacting and communicating with each other like in the dining area, library, cinema center, fitness center, garden, and many more. Thanks to these shared spaces seniors are not longer isolated, which results in having positive emotions as now they are able to communicate, and make new friendships. According to latest researches people who are in contact with their family and friends have longer life span and more fulfilling one, and the cohousing community offers all that.
As per the Canadian Cohousing Network, seniors who live in a cohousing community live at least ten years longer than in a traditional senior housing. In addition to all the social benefits, this way of living offers also financial benefits as the living costs are significantly lower. It is cheaper and easier to maintain a garden, pool, yard, library, or fitness center when the costs are shared. In terms of food the costs are lower when a group pays for community meals than buying groceries for one person.
Pros and Cons of Nursing Homes and Senior Cohousing
First of all, let us emphasize that both alternatives are better and safer option than living alone. It is always better to see the both sides of the two ways of senior living, and here they are:
- The staff in nursing homes is more experienced and attentive than the ones living in a cohousing community
- The residents in both homes can experience the benefits of community and the presented events. Yet, in senior cohousing, seniors can have their close friends to live nearby them.
- Both types of homes offer a private residence, however in the senior cohousing; the privacy is at a higher level as the residents have their own apartments or houses.
- Nursing homes are more expensive as they are full-time facilities with well-trained staff and plenty of care, which is not the case with senior cohousing where residents share their resources.
- Seniors who have not the need of a constant care senior cohousing is a better option as in this way they have a control over their daily lifestyle.
Senior cohousing is a great alternative for people who consider nursing homes depressing and lonely. Hence, this new alternative is an excellent option for the family members who are worried about their parents and grandparents living alone or in a nursing home. In this type of housing seniors can easily connect and live a full life in a less risky and cost-efficient way.