Housing Options for Older Adults

There are a variety of housing options for older adults emerging in communities across the US. Home Sharing - One of the newest ideas involves renting out a room or rooms in your house, or living at someone else's house and sharing the kitchen, laundry room, living room, and other common areas. This could also include being part of a group of people who all move into a new place, either renting or buying. The advantages include reduced living expenses, and companionship.

Cohousing - This option involves small developments that combine private homes with shared community spaces.  Residents run the community and make all decisions by consensus. Most existing cohousing projects nationwide are multi-generational. Advantages include being able to live with people who are caring and supportive, shared resources, and privacy when needed.

Niche Communities - These are for older adults who share the same interests or lifestyle, such as a university-based retirement community, or writers/musicians.

Multi-generational - Grandparents, adult children, and grandkids all share a home. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that about 57 million live in a multi-generational arrangement. Advantages are that it's easier on the budget, and there are built-in caregivers for children and elderly parents.


The Village Model - This option involves neighborhoods that provide a range of low-cost home, medical, shopping, and social services and activities to senior members. The goal is to help people stay as long as possible in their homes. Advantages include safety, convenience, socializing opportunities, and independence.