July 01, 2013

A Guide to Shared and Communal Housing for the Elderly

Doris is a 65-year- old woman who now lives alone after her husband passed away a year ago. Her children, Eric and Diane, are both married and live out of state. They visit her occasionally, but with their respective families’ responsibilities and their lives becoming more hectic, they do not have as much time to spend with their mother as they once did. With her husband’s death, her income and retirement needs have changed. While Doris is fully independent, she is at a stage in her life where she is looking at various living alternatives that suit her new circumstances.

Even though Doris is not a real person, her situation is a recurring story familiar to many firms that deal with elder law issues. As her lawyer, what guidance can you offer her?

Shared housing and communal living are becoming increasingly attractive options among seniors because of the numerous benefits: inexpensive rent, shared responsibilities, resource-efficiency, independence, and companionship.

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