Elder Cohousing: Communitites for Senior Citizens

A haven for your golden years, elder cohousing is growing in popularity among the baby boomer generation in the U.S.

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The residents of the first elder cohousing community in the United States—Glacier Circle Senior Community in Davis, California—gather for a group shot.

Photo Courtesy Glacier Circle Senior Community

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As the first wave of the baby boomer generation turns 60, there’s been a surge of speculation about how 78 million people will spend their golden years. Many are shunning institutional facilities, seeking new ways to live a satisfying, seasoned life.

Early this year, residents began moving into the first two U.S. “elder cohousing” communities. These cohousing villages are created by residents, with an emphasis on mutual support and environmentally conscious, accessible design. The Glacier Circle Senior Community in Davis, California, began in 2002 when its founding member called a meeting for seniors interested in a community approach to aging. With the help of cohousing developer Virginia Thigpen, eight households within a larger, mixed-use community evolved. Glacier Circle has a group garden and a common house, which includes an apartment that may house a cook or caregiver as the community’s needs evolve.

In Abingdon, Virginia, ElderSpirit Community is a larger project that includes privately owned homes as well as affordable rental units.

Other elder cohousing communities are forming across the country, from Fairbanks, Alaska, to St. Petersburg, Florida. To learn more, visit the Elder Cohousing Network online.

Elder Cohousing Projects

Elder Cohousing at Prospect
Longmont, Colorado
(303) 684-9999
25 to 30 households currently forming

Elder Family in the Smoky Mountains
Whittier, North Carolina
(828) 497-7102
annariel@dnet.net
common facility and two group homes now being built on eight acres

ElderSpirit
Abingdon, Virginia
(276) 628-8908
29 residences (privately owned and rented)

Glacier Circle Senior Community
Davis, California
2358 Glacier Place
Davis, CA 95616
eight residences

Silver Sage Village
Boulder and Arvada,
Colorado
(303) 449-3232, ext. 215
16 households, mixed income

Wolf Creek Lodge
Grass Valley, California
(530) 478-1970
community for ages 50-plus, currently forming