Caring for elderly parents in AZ? Cohousing communities may provide new alternative.

By November 2, 2010Uncategorized

With the advent of new living arrangements, today’s seniors have more housing options than ever before.  For instance, more than 100 senior cohousing communities have popped up around the country over the past several years.  Residents of cohousing communities have their own residence, but also share a common residence where gardens, community meals and guest rooms are available.  Unlike assisted living facilities, cohousing community residents control the community’s policies and rules.  In effect, cohousing communities provide a communal atmosphere to seniors who need little more than the company of similarly situated peers.  For a full discussion on cohousing communities, read Living Together, Aging Together, in the New York Times health blog, The New Old Age.

There are relatively few cohousing communities around the nation; and, of course, they are not for everybody.  Such arrangements may not be suitable for those who need the attention or supervision of a caregiver.  And, because these types of arrangements do not provide long-term care, Medicaid does not cover their costs.  If we see cohousing communities develop in Arizona, ALTCS/Medicaid will not pay for seniors to reside there.  Cohousing communities are designed to provide a social network and informal monitoring, while Arizona Medicaid is reserved to provide assistance for actual medical care.  Whether or not an individual resides in a cohousing community, however, ALTCS planning with an Elder Law attorney may help him prepare for the future.