Learn More About Senior Co-Housing in Ontario
Friday Jul 26th, 2019
Created in Denmark in the 1990s, co-housing is gaining traction in Ontario as seniors are seeking ways to live independently and share responsibilities and costs, while also developing strong social connections and building a circle of support as they age. From coast-to-coast, co-housing developments are cropping up, as well as private ventures, providing seniors with more choice than ever before to live healthy, engaged and creative lives with like-minded individuals.
What is Co-Housing?
According to the Canadian Cohousing Network, co-housing (or co-living) is an intentionally cooperative neighbourhood where common facilities are shared, yet each household owns their home and has ample privacy and maximum control over their involvement. For seniors, this type of living arrangement focuses on aging well while in the presence of community. Residents design and manage themselves relying on neighbourly mutual support (co-care) and a hired resident caregiver, if required. Communities are designed for physical accessibility, as well as financial, environmental, and social sustainability.
What are the Benefits of Senior Co-Housing?
Studies suggest that seniors who opt for a co-housing arrangement can age-in-place ten years longer versus living in a conventional house. This is an incredible benefit to co-housing, which is also associated with other key benefits:
Homeownership or even renting a place of one’s own comes with mounting costs, especially in major markets like Toronto or Mississauga. Co-housing is an option that maintains the functionality of a single-family home or private apartment, but at a more affordable cost since expenses are shared. Many boomers are opting to sell their homes, downsize into a smaller co-housing unit and utilize the equity to support their golden years.
- Reduced Expenditures
Many seniors that live in a co-housing report significant cost of living savings. Fixed expenses, such as utilities, property taxes and maintenance costs, are lower since they are shared amongst inhabitants, plus co-housing units are smaller than standard single-family homes. There are also savings for variable expenses, like food, since some co-housing arrangements share mealtime responsibilities and costs.
- Aging in Place
Co-housing developments are designed to allow owners to age-in-place and often follow universal design concepts that enhance day-to-day life no matter a person’s ability. This includes large bathrooms with curbless showers or widened doorways that can accommodate mobility aids. As a person’s needs change, universal design to quick to adapt.
- Quality of Life
One of the most important benefits of senior co-living is a person’s quality of life. This type of living arrangement staves off loneliness and isolation, and provides an important sense of community and belonging. Co-housing owners can engage with each other, help one another and be a strong support network on a truly personal level, while becoming an extension of family as they carry out daily life together.
- Reduced Need for Resources
Having help from other members of a co-housing community provides seniors with easy access to the daily resources they need without having to rely on outside organizations, like meal or companion services. Living in a community setting also has health and safety benefits, allowing seniors to live independently for longer.
If you or a loved one are curious about co-housing options in Ontario or wish to learn more about the benefits of senior co-living, please contact me, Deborah Clerk, Real Estate Sales Representative and ASA at Keller Williams Realty Solutions, Brokerage. As an Accredited Senior Agent, I work with my mature buyers and sellers to help them create a lifestyle that’s not only sustainable, but caterers to their unique needs. You have options – let’s explore them together.