Cohousing is an intentional neighbourhood, in which, design and all of work are run by their residents. Each household live in their own dwelling but share community facilities, in particular, common house is a meeting point where they do activities and eat together. More important, cohousing community promote social interaction and promise a good living environment. As many previous posts from my colleagues, cohousing focus and are interested mainly by elder people. The idea to build cohousing as ‘care village’ by Brenton (2013) has been addressed to support senior cohousing.
Similar with any type of housing, cohousing consider physical care issue, which it needs to meet any demand of housing standard, criteria of quality of life. A healthy and sustainability environment is very important with cohousing, especially with elder people. Greenery, pollution reduction, fresh air, waste treatment are always address on any housing projects, cohousing as well. In addition, cohousing often consider green energy, sustainable energy to keep a clean environment, also reduce the energy fee.
Furthermore, cohousing can provide a health care service, which it is more convenient for them rather than to move out to find health service, sometimes it will be too late. However it will be costly, so it can work in small scale, which can help and teach people some abilities to take care themselves. As Brenton (2010) said ‘Small services providing practical help and emotional support to older people can significantly affect their health and wellbeing’.
As mention before about the concept of cohousing, social care is the key of ‘care village’. First of all, community building is the aim of cohousing, strengthening community by providing opportunities for any member come to join community activities, to meet, to communicate and to understand each other. It gathers people, avoid making people feel loneliness or isolated, especially with elder people and who are new comer. The relationship between member in community will lead to they will concern, beware and take care someone when they get sick or help when they get problem.
According to some reports, journals and case studies in Dutch and Danish (Brendon, 2013), it shows that cohousing have reduced the pressure of health services and social care demand. Cohousing is a good solution for elder people who like to live in a mutual care community rather than living in a nursing home.
Brendon, M. (2010) POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF COHOUSING FOR OLDER PEOPLE.
Brendon, M. (2013) Senior cohousing communities – an alternative approach for the UK?, [online], Available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/senior-cohousing-communities-full.pdf.
Figure 1: https://nationalpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/seniors-health.jpg?w=620
Figure 2: http://www.ecovillagenewsletter.org/wiki/images/thumb/f/fe/A_New_Anastasia_2.jpg/340px-A_New_Anastasia_2.jpg
Figure 3: http://www.efortsmith.com/images/articles/Lets-Take-Care-of-Each-Other.jpg