Goal: Meet the Housing Needs of Older AdultsAARP logo
Role: Support Housing Models Geared to Older Adults

Many older adults need a higher level of care than can easily be provided in the home but wish to remain in the same community with their neighbors, friends, and relatives. A number of "supportive housing" models have been developed to help such individuals age in their community while delaying or avoiding a move to an institutional setting (e.g., nursing home).  Supportive housing models differ in the types of services they provide for residents, but each offers access to round-the-clock care and recognizes the importance of dignity, autonomy, and choice for their residents. [1] Along with adult foster care, the supportive housing umbrella also includes assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities, and congregate housing.

Cohousing represents another community model that satisfies the needs and preferences of a growing number of older adults.  Cohousing communities are designed to promote "active neighboring" and include many built-in advantages for aging in place, including a common house with suites that can be occupied by professional caregivers.

Click on the boxes below to learn more about ways to implement this strategy.

Expand the supply of affordable supportive housing
Supportive housing models provide a range of services to older adults who wish to live independently rather than move to a nursing home.

Offer adult foster care
to provide services
in private residences
Adult foster care is one type of supportive housing preferred by many older adults who need assistance with daily activities but wish to continue living in a private home.

Build mutual support through creation of cohousing communities
Cohousing offers older adults a model that promotes active neighboring, shared community responsibilities, and a straightforward way to arrange for essential services.

Photo credits (L to R): Our Saviors Manor -- courtesy of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan; Crawford Square -- courtesy of McCormack Baron Salazar; Carbondale CO -- courtesy of www.pedbikeimages.org/Dan Burden

[1]"Homes of Choice: Towards More Effective Linkages Between Housing and Services." 2004. By Jon Pynoos, Phoebe Liebig, Dawn Alley, and Christy M. Nishita. Journal of Housing for the Elderly 18(3/4), pp. 5-49; and State Assisted Living Practices and Options: A Guide for State Policy Makers [PDF] 2001. By Robert L. Mollica and Robert Jenkens.Washington, DC: NCB Development Corporation.