Senior co-housing, naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) and strategically planned community based housing arrangements are growing and garnering attention as an alternative to living at home or in traditional senior living options. While support for these alternative senior housing solutions from advocacy groups is plentiful, current research to support the benefits of these types of housing arrangements is limited and further study on quality of care will be necessary to support further funding. To further the study of community-based housing arrangements, a group of researchers has released a paper proposing a framework to organize and assess our current knowledge regarding the quality of the assistance and care found in these housing-care settings. The report calls for further inclusion and evaluation of resident’s health data to further evaluate & document the benefits of this growing trend in options for senior living in a more residential based environment.
“Lower-income seniors who have difficulty living independently in their no longer compatible owned homes would especially benefit by relocating to these alternatives. Even some nursing home residents might be able to transition into these options if they offer more extensive assistance and services. Despite the enthusiastic endorsements of housing and service providers, we still lack compelling evidence that these clustered housing-care arrangements effectively and safely enable their senior occupants to age in place or manage their chronic health problems. Nor is there consensus as to what constitutes the most effective evaluation outcomes—lowering the government’s long-term care costs, delaying the entry of seniors into more institutional-like settings, insuring they receive the best quality care and assistance, or most fundamentally, offering them a good quality of life,” expressed Professor Stephen Golant, co-author of the paper in an email interview with SHN.
To see some of the recommendations called for in the report, visit: