Pascal De Keyser
Senior coliving, 5 reasons why it's here to stay.
Let's take a closer look at senior coliving and some key benefits of this shared living concept. Different from assisted living, senior coliving offers a solution for those who want to live an independent yet community-driven life as they age. Remember the TV sitcom, ‘Friends’? Rachel, Ross, and the crew showed the world that living across the hall from your closest friends could be a pretty ideal scenario. The need for a community doesn't end when you hit 30. Who's to say you can't live with an engaging group of friends well into your senior years? Coliving for seniors is of growing interest, and I believe it’s the perfect housing option for many who are looking for a sense of community as they age. And, apparently, I’m not the only one.
What is Coliving?
Coliving is one of the biggest trending asset class in the real estate market currently. Offering a sense of community, flexibility, quality design, engaging communal spaces, and a host of extra perks and amenities, coliving enables people to live a more connected lifestyle. Not only is coliving popular with millennials and Gen Z'ers, it’s also an obvious solution to the growing need for community-based senior living. Coliving is the future of senior housing.
1. Affordability, as the cost of senior housing is skyrocketing.
The cost of senior housing has grown heavily over the years. According to Orpea, one of Europe's largest senior home operators, the average cost of assisted living in some of the larger EU countries varies between €2.000 and €9.000, with an average €4.500. Such an amount per month per person is not an affordable level for a lot of people, so baby boomers are looking for alternative living solutions where costs can be shared. For example, the cost of a caregiver could be split amongst the residents. A particular resident might not need a full-time helper on their own, but they might benefit from assistance with chores every once in a while or help with basic medical care.
Opportunities like this make it easier for a person to live independently as they grow older instead of moving into a more costly assisted living facility. Sometimes, an occasional helping hand makes all the difference.
2. Community and events kill loneliness. Having social connections and a sense of community not only helps us to lead happier lives, but it also helps us have healthier, longer lives as well. Coliving spaces are designed to engage residents and create an environment where members feel at home. With coliving, events are about more than simply entertaining residents, it’s about building a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Activities are often community-led and enable a much more modern, expansive experience. Think skill shares, volunteer opportunities, language courses, happy hours, dinner parties, tech classes, and afternoon sports.
3. Ease of Use
Ease of use is a massive benefit for seniors within coliving spaces. Having safe, instant access with keyless entry not only enables a seamless experience, but also gives residents peace of mind.
Some other examples? Some spaces offer on-demand concierge services via an app, so users can choose which amenities they’d like to add to the living experience. From food delivery and housekeeping to transportation and prescription delivery services, residents can easily select the solution that works best for them.
4. Learning Opportunities
Coliving spaces often offer a variety of learning opportunities, from skill shares to actual courses. Many spaces have an emphasis on continued personal and professional growth. The desire to learn and experience new things doesn’t leave as we grow older.
5. Staying Healthy
By focusing on actively maintaining and improving the health of its residents, senior coliving spaces can allow senoirs to live independently for longer.
Many coliving spaces have fitness centers or classes, as well as mental well-being programs. For example, Gravity Coliving in London offers physical training sessions and nutrition masterclasses, as well as access to mental health services through their community app. The same concepts and opportunities that we’re seeing in millennial-focused coliving can be easily adapted for senior coliving as well.