Shared living communities are a great place to live, grow, thrive and participate in community as we grow older. “As a clinical social worker, I know that women, especially, can thrive in a shared social setting,” comments Vibrante Living Founder Roxanne Cornell. “They may be alone because they are divorced, widowed or never married. If they are brought together with other like-minded, educated women who are still interested in learning and enjoying life, they can continue to live full, rich lives.”
Here are five things to consider when evaluating shared senior living communities and tips for choosing the one best suited for your unique needs:
1. How do you prefer to spend your time? Community and independence are not mutually exclusive. Just like in your own home, privacy is as valuable as community. Consider: Do you want a private suite with your own bathroom? Is a quiet sitting area important to you? Would you enjoy having friendly conversations in a large kitchen and living area?
2. Do you share a spirit and desire for collaboration and cooperative problem-solving?
Are you flexible and open to new people and ideas? “It’s a must have quality for living with others. If issues do come up, they need to be quickly resolved to everyone’s mutual benefit,” comments Cornell. If you consider yourself a doer and progressive thinker, a smaller, shared living environment with just two or three other residents may be your best choice.
3. What location would best suit your lifestyle and personality?
Location is important. What is within walking distance? What is a short drive away? If you prefer an urban environment with a neighborly feel, consider something in an established residential neighborhood. “I chose to remodel a large home across the street from Lake Nokomis, for example, because it gives Vibrante residents access to a serene setting plus an eclectic mix of nearby activities,” says Cornell. Continue living life in your terms. If such activities as shopping, theatre and sporting events are important to you, then they should be part of your checklist.
4. Do you lead a healthy and active lifestyle?
Some larger shared living communities may offer games and organized tours. But if a sedentary lifestyle just isn’t you, a better option may be to look fora residence near dedicated walking and biking trails or with water activities such as swimming, kayaking, or boating. “You will also want to decide if you want someone determining your meal selections, as may be the case in some larger locations with hundreds of residents, or if you want to be responsible for your own healthy meals,” advises Cornell.
5. Are you actively involved in volunteering, mentoring and other philanthropic activities?
Many of us find fulfillment in helping others. That passion to contribute doesn’t have to stop just because you’re getting older. Look for a residence that supports and encourages opportunities to stay involved in the community. “People want purpose,” confirms Cornell. “Staying involved with your community allows you to meet new people and feel that your activities have meaning.”
If you can see yourself living in a shared living community, come visit Vibrante Living.
Contact Roxanne at 612-816-6940 or fill out this simple form to set up a tour or meeting.