Senior or Intergenerational Cohousing?

David Oesper

Should Mirador Astronomy Village be designed as an astronomy community for retirees, or should it be intergenerational?

Intergenerational cohousing communities usually have a strong emphasis on children and their activities. Since Mirador will be promoting astrotourism and educational programs for all ages, it could be primarily a community for active retirees and yet provide plenty of opportunity to interact with younger people.

In a senior cohousing community, the common house often has large guest rooms to accommodate an extended visit from family or for professional caregivers if residents need help. At Mirador, these guest rooms will be located on the visitor campus.

If some residents need regular medical care, the community can hire one caregiver that can tend to the needs of several residents. This would make it easier for seniors to continue living on their own as they age rather than having to move into an expensive assisted-living community.

Regular cohousing communities typically focus their energies in places where seniors have already been: building careers, raising families, and the like. While some seniors find the youthful vigor of a regular cohousing community to be refreshing, other seniors would rather see the community designed around their unique needs and aspirations for company, for quiet, adequate health care, and the like.

If Mirador is going to be primarily an astronomy-oriented community for retirees, then the conflicting requirements of an ultra-dark night sky and easy access to excellent health care may be the most important consideration in choosing a site.



The Senior Cohousing Handbook, Second Edition, by Charles Durrett (2009): Chapters 1 & 2, Appendix C

Communal Living & Cohousing – Types & Benefits of Intentional Communities by Amy Livingston

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