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
25 to 30 households currently forming
Elder Family in the Smoky Mountains
Whittier, North Carolina
common facility and two group homes now being built on eight acres
29 residences (privately owned and rented)
Glacier Circle Senior Community
2358 Glacier Place
Davis, CA 95616
Silver Sage Village
Boulder and Arvada,
(303) 449-3232, ext. 215
16 households, mixed income
Wolf Creek Lodge
Grass Valley, California
community for ages 50-plus, currently forming