Amid a rising trend of co-ownership in Ontario, a local couple has expressed their plans to found a shared home for seniors in preparation for a future where the aging population will no longer be enjoying good health.
Doug (63) and Mardi Tindal (64) announced that their cooperative home will feature individual bedrooms and bathrooms for each occupant, along with a shared living room, laundry area, and kitchen.
“We like the sound of this, the crackle of community,” Mardi told CBC News
“We’re vibrant, healthy people … we’re not decrepit going into this, we’re actually quite strong and resilient,” she added. “We thought that’s the time to create a living community, so we’re there for one another when things will get harder.”
While the Tindals said that they will need several more months to get the project going, they have already scouted at least five other aging individuals who would like to live together in such an arrangement.
“We are going to be having multi-layered conversations about who we are, our deepest values, our hopes, as well as the kinds of decisions that will have to be made,” Mardi stated.
Penny Milton (72) of Midtown Toronto has already talked with the Tindals, and has expressed interest in the couple’s co-op seniors home.
“[It’s] time to think about how do I want to live when I may not be as fully competent as I am now,” according to Milton, whose husband died less than a year ago.
Aside from the obvious fiscal advantages of distributing the burden of owning and maintaining a home, experts argued that shared homes come with tangible health benefits as well.
“I think it's a fantastic idea for maintaining social connectedness as we get older,” Baycrest psychologist and researcher Nicole Anderson said.
Companionship and social support play a crucial role in avoiding depression, poor health, dementia risk, and overall lower quality of life among seniors, Anderson explained.
“Having somebody there in close proximity when you need some help or some support is fantastic.”
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