This site allows you to self-identify that you are seeking cohousing as a living solution so I can help match you to opportunities. I work with multiple cohousing groups, professionals, developers and builders. I help establish and develop Cohousing groups and communities.
Imagine that you live in a place where you know all your neighbors, and they all look out for you. You often encounter a friend as you walk to or from your car. You are invited, daily, to join others for a meal or a fun visit. When you go on vacation everyone watches your house and it's easy to find someone to water the plants or feed the cat.
Your life is easier and safer. When you need a little extra help, you have friends and neighbors ready to pitch in. You have community support that enables elders to age-in-place and prolong the amount of time they can live at home. Children grow up free-range with next door playmates and a safe place to roam.
Cohousing is intentional community. It is a small neighborhood where everyone who lives there agrees to be a good neighbor. You know your neighbors. Neighbors look out for each other. Your quality of life is improved.
Design and Community make cohousing neighborhoods different from typical tract home developments. Almost all homes today are designed around the automobile. You pull into and out of your garage and rarely see your neighbor. People in today’s society do not know their neighbor and have little social interaction. Most homes have empty guest rooms and a garage full of equipment that rarely gets used. Living in a big cluttered house in isolation is expensive, unhealthy and a lot of work.
Cohousing is designed so you have maximum opportunity to interact with your neighbors. Homes with front porches face each other and are grouped around common areas. You can see what is going on from your front window and you cross paths with neighbors as you walk to and from common shared amenities or parking. This type of design encourages community living with social gatherings and activities where you get to know your neighbor.
Your home is private with a full kitchen and features similar to any other typical home. If you want solitude, your home is your private domain. If you want community step outside. Participation is not mandatory; your level of community involvement is up to you.
Cohousing involves shared resources. There is a common house, which has a kitchen where group meals can be prepared, storage sheds with equipment like step ladders and garden tools that you use when needed, but don't have to store. Because of access to shared amenities, you can keep a smaller house with less clutter, less work and less expense.
The people who live in community decide how to operate and manage themselves. There are no managers or rules imposed upon you. This is an environment where people have come together who are in agreement to be cooperative and a good neighbor. When there is conflict, neighbors work together to resolve issues in a healthy way.
Cohousing is beneficial to the quality of life, and can be a particularly good choice for older adults. There are unique circumstances that seniors can face where cohousing provides an ideal environment.
- Cohousing provides a sense of belonging – of caring and being cared about – which is so necessary for most of us, and for seniors in particular, since our culture tends to marginalize aging adults.
- Cohousing provides a sense of purpose and meaning in collaboratively managing a community. While continuing care retirement communities can be a good choice for some, others resist following rules and being managed. Seniors who have raised families, achieved successful careers, and been involved in civic affairs may want to continue to take charge of their remaining years with the highest quality of life possible.
- Cohousing allows seniors to attend to their emotional well-being, especially when their children have moved away, their partners have passed on, and friends have died.
- Cohousing allows seniors not to be a burden to their children, especially in today’s world where daughters work as well as sons, family members may live far away, and there are fewer children to share caring.
- Cohousing can provide economic advantages over other retirement care. Smaller, more energy-efficient, well-designed homes translate to lower cost of living expenses. So does sharing resources. A strong social environment may contribute to better health and lower medical costs. And cooperatively hiring outside caregivers may be far more cost efficient.
- Cohousing allows seniors to help create their own community to meet their own needs with others who appreciate their circumstances; to live with others who share a common bond of age and experience.
- Cohousing provides a vastly more sustainable model than many current options for retirement living, which often are socially inadequate, not health supporting, and a financial drain.
- Cohousing provides an excellent choice for seniors to house themselves with dignity, independence, safety, mutual concern – and fun!
From Aging in Cohousing – Why is this a Good Choice? By Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director