Trend Watch: Communes for Seniors

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 06 March 2013

An old model, a new senior living option: read more about communal living for seniors in this post.A new senior living option is actually based on an old model, according to this AARP blog post, For Aging Seniors, A Commune-Like Alternative.

In New York, just 30 miles from Manhattan, the 33-bed Fellowship Community adult home operates this way:“workers are paid not according to what they do, but what they need; aging residents are encouraged to lend a hand at the farm, the candle shop or the pottery studio; and boisterous children are welcome around the old folks,” says the article.

Another unique feature at the Fellowship Community home is a state law exemption that allows residents to receive end-of-life care there; as their health declines, they are not required to go to a hospital or nursing home.

The intergenerational interactions the community affords also deeply enriches the senior resident experience. Consider this example from the AARP piece: Joanne Karp, an 81-year-old resident who was supposed to be in her room recovering from eye surgery … was down the hall at the piano, accompanying three kids learning to play the recorder.”

To read about similar senior living “Trend Watch” topics, check out these posts.

Talk back: Would you choose a commune-like setting? Why or why not?


There are 4 Comments about this post

  1. Liz says,

    This is very interesting. My grandmother is currently trying to start a commune-like adult home in Oregon, except that it will be 50+. I am curious as to how end-of-life support is given in those situations. Do you just hope someone with that knowledge and experience moves there or is someone hired? It’s an interesting model but raises many questions.


    on 08 March 2013 / 2:00 PM

  2. I think the AARP article spoke in greater detail about how they provide end-of-life support. You may want to check it out. It may be that they have to bring in professional hospice care providers to the commune in certain cases. You’re right though; it’s an interesting model but it does raise some questions. Thanks for your comments! All the best to your grandmother in her efforts!


    on 08 March 2013 / 3:21 PM

  3. Donna Morris says,

    yes-tried 3 retirement places-boring-bingo on Friday=everyone retired to their rooms with no social feedback


    on 16 December 2014 / 12:48 PM

  4. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience! Some places do seem to have more of a social atmosphere than others. I hope you find the right fit!


    on 16 December 2014 / 3:58 PM


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