Living Better, Caring Together
A small scale cohousing model for couples where one is supporting the other living with younger onset dementia or aother life-limited condition: age range 50-70.
Co-Creating a Care Community
Vicki and Chris are carers supporting their partners who are living with younger onset dementia (diagnosis under 65 years). Life has changed considerably for them with the loss of independence and income as they have transitioned from having a career to being a carer. Moreover, the future is unpredictable and further complicated by the current chaos around the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the impending changes to My Aged Care, the difficulty of accessing short term respite care, and the sustainability of the health system being under increasing pressure.
They consider cohousing to be an affordable living and care option that will give them more control over their future with the ability to leverage resources to meet their changing needs as time progresses, enhance their lifestyle with the added social, economic and environmental benefits, and importantly, they get to choose who they share this lifestyle with! The hope is to avoid the prospect and agonising decision of placing their loved ones in a care facility. The distinguishing features of this model are the willingness of residents to support one another with their care needs and the inclusion of a low rental residence for a support coordinator who can assist with access to services and coordinate group activities.
- Small scale, resident managed cohousing model with social structures that promote intentional community, connection, and engagement; participatory in nature.
- Practical and psychosocial support for residents enabling shared care, resources and associated costs for independent ageing and affordable caring in place.
- Allocation of one dwelling for low rent to support coordinator, preferably who is need of social housing and assurance of tenure, to assist with coordination of community care and group activities.
- Deliberative development and co-design whereby residents engage with contracted partners to determine legal structure, financing, planning and design with therapeutic regard for physical and built environment, purposefully designed for people living with progressive, life-limiting conditions.
- Shared common spaces for recreation, storage and gardening as well as community house for laundry, gym, meals, therapy, social and other activities.
- Promotion of values consistent with compassionate communities; ability task for what is needed, give what you are able, and accept assistance with grace.
Healthy relationships and effective communication are keys to success. Capacity building, skilling and training will be part of the model.
Location and Site Size
Preferred location is the northern corridor, between Marmion Ave and the coast with easy access to the beach, amenities and public transport. Other locations will be considered.
Dwellings will be 2 bed, 1 bath with no laundry or garage attached; footprint 80-100sqm. Allowing for 6 dwellings, community house, shared spaces and parking, estimated site size required is 2,000 – 2,500sqm.
Primarily the project is intended to be self-funded with each resident required to invest no more than $500K. Noting that this project will be a prototype with the potential for scalability in the future, it is hoped that the innovative and distinctive care component of this project will attract in-kind support and/or discounted rates from government and non-government sources to help offset some of the costs and provide incentive for early adopters to join the project.
At this stage, we are seeking three couples to join the project.
For more information, or to express your interest