AARP Pinpoints Alternative Age-Friendly Housing Options

The increasing costs of traditional assisted living, independent living and continuing care retirement community options have given rise to a host of senior housing alternatives, especially in light of financial pressures on the aging population due to the recent recession and ongoing economic recovery.

AARP recapped several of these popular alternatives in an article this week, pointing to six options that today’s aging population has that go outside the traditional long-term care models: staying put, moving in with family, moving to a long term care facility or nursing home, or relocating to an age-restricted community.

Among the newer alternatives, baby boomers and others are pursing cohousing, house sharing, housing cooperatives, naturally occurring retirement communities, niche retirement communities and the “villages” model, which have risen in popularity of late.


Taking input from a recent study conducted by author and journalist Beth Baker, AARP reports on the benefits to the alternatives. Under cohousing arrangements, which are growing in their appeal not only to individuals but also to senior living stakeholders, separate residences are linked to a common space such as kitchen, dining area, and yard.

House sharing, often confused with cohousing, is another alternative under which someone who currently owns a home opens his or her home to a friend, family member or tenant who shares in the care taking responsibility of the home.

AARP also highlights housing cooperatives, many of which have arisen in senior living and sometimes which are established based on a common interest or other niche; Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, or NORCs; niche and affinity communities; and Villages, which were first founded in Brookline, Massachusetts and today which count more than 125 nationwide.


Read the AARP article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker