Remember The Golden Girls, the endearing TV show featuring three slightly wacky female friends “of a certain age” and one hilarious take-no-prisoners mother? After living full lives, four older (and completely different) women came together in a living arrangement that enriched each of their lives - and kept viewers in stitches.
Beatrice Arthur as Dorothy, a teacher; Betty White as Rose, a TV news assistant; Rue McClanahan as Blanche and Estelle Getty as Dorothy’s mom Sophia shared their ups and downs, families and careers, joys and sorrows, loves lost and found and hopes and fears for their futures.
They had each other. They supported each other. And we loved that.
While Rue’s wealthy character Blanche owned the home the Golden Girls lived in, she valued the camaraderie and mutual support from the feisty women she shared it with.
We know that social isolation can cause older adults to be sicker, die sooner and have higher health care and other expenses. The good news? Shared or co-housing, an old idea brought to life in this 1980’s TV sitcom, is again gaining momentum.
Today, aging homeowners who don’t have enough money to maintain their cherished nest or can’t afford to enter a senior living community are seeking social connections and cost-sharing with their own versions of Golden Girls-style living.
Across the country, seniors are connecting with others in shared housing, cohousing and village style organizations, reports Paula Span in the New York Times. These living arrangements confer many benefits: shared cost of home maintenance, utilities, food, among others. More than financial relief for the participants: they create family-like supportive communities where co-habitants look out for each other, often sharing the cost of a home aide or other in-home care service.
Want to find out more about shared housing, cohousing and village options in your area? Check out these resources:
Looking for help to plan a quality life for you or a loved one as you age? Check out Aging in Place Toolkit’s information and resource library. Need an advisor to help you put the pieces in place? Contact us here or give us a call at 774-377-5818.