New Thinking about Older Housing.

January 26, 2021

New Thinking about Older Housing.

May 29, 2023

As many of you know, we’ve been brainstorming how to create MEA Regenerative Communities, a 21st-century multi-generational alternative to the archaic 20th-century retirement community. Our co-founder Jeff Hamaoui has been pioneering this effort with Baja Sage, not far from our MEA campus, and some of you are planning on buying a home there.

MEA alum Jennifer Cole Phillips introduced me to a new idea in her Baltimore community that’s pretty fascinating. As outlined in this article, Carehaus is an innovative kind of housing community dedicated to mixing the generations and creating a communal potluck in which everyone shares what they do best.

Here’s how it works: In a Carehaus, disabled and older adults, caregivers, and their families live in independent living units clustered around shared spaces. In exchange for their labor, caregivers receive fair wages, childcare, housing supplements, and various benefits. Carehaus Baltimore will house twelve older adults and disabled people, four caregivers with their families, a site manager, and offer a team of experts in nutrition, fitness, financial awareness, art, and wellness.

One societal challenge is that long-term care is financially out of reach for 90% of older adults in the U.S. At the same time, there are not enough caregivers to meet the existing needs of older and disabled adults. Care gaps can lead to poor nutrition, missed medication, and costly, preventable late-stage hospital admissions. This solution is designed for “congregate care” or “care-sharing,” which makes caregiving more efficient and safer: caregivers can take turns keeping an eye on those who need close monitoring.

While you might not need this for yourself, it’s possible you will for your parents as there are precious few great alternatives for taking care of those in their 70s and 80s who don’t need institutionalization or full-time medical care.

What suggestions do you have for overhauling housing when it comes to caring for people later in life?

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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