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.

| January/February 2007

  • 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
  • Future residents of Silver Sage Village meet to discuss the model of their elder cohousing community in Boulder, Colorado.
    Photo Courtesy Silver Sage Village

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

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