Important Options for Independent Senior Living
As people get older, their interaction with others may be restricted because of illness or limited mobility. The Second Wind Movement documents the benefits of social interaction for seniors in their golden years and positive impact interaction has on seniors’ mental health. There are a few options for seniors who wish to maintain their relationships.
Aging in Community - Cohousing
In the concept of aging in community, seniors can live in close proximity to people in a similar age group. This covers options such as cohousing as well as having a senior roommate. In cohousing communities, there are private homes interspersed with common or shared spaces. These shared spaces may include gardens, work sheds, and recreational spaces. They may also have large cooking areas where seniors can interact and share meals. Some cohousing communities don’t have age restrictions, and as such, they support a multigenerational type of living, where seniors can move into the community with other family members.
Aging in Community - Senior House Sharing
More seniors are exploring having a roommate instead of the cost of living in a senior living residence. You must weigh the pros and cons of having a roommate before making this decision to ensure it’s right for you. If you already have someone in mind, you can easily broach the idea with them. If not, the interest has grown so much in recent years that Assisted Living for the Aging (ALA) maintains a database for seniors seeking roommates.
The Village Movement
This is another aspect of aging in place wherein seniors can stay in their homes while supported by a group of volunteers and some paid staff in a nonprofit organization known as a village. The village is usually funded through membership fees and donations. Volunteers in the village will assist seniors with cleaning activities and laundry services. They will also coordinate social activities that encourage interaction and keep seniors active. If your community isn’t part of a village, the Village to Village Network maintains a map that helps people easily find villages.
Making the Move
Depending on which option you choose, downsizing may be something you also have to contend with. When downsizing, it’s important to have a plan for handling your belongings and keeping the move as stress-free as possible. You will also need to research the cost of homes in the area you’d like to live in so you know what you can afford; for example, over the past month, homes in New York City have sold for around $565,000. Also, you need to set aside some room in your budget for moving costs, as you can easily pay $1,250 to move, though this figure will change depending on the size of the move itself and your location.
It’s important for seniors to be happy in their golden years, and maintaining social interaction is one of the proven ways of ensuring that happens. You should explore all your options and choose the best one that will serve your needs now and into the future.