blandford, nova scotia
There is a lack of suitable housing on the Aspotogan Peninsula that would allow senior citizens who are unable to live at home, to move within their communities. From personal experience and academic insight it is clear that the conventional remote nursing home is unsuitable for those who are mostly capable of living independently but cannot continue alone in an ageing, inefficient traditional family home.
Cohousing is a housing type that allows people to live in a private suite within a shared household. We believe that the concept of cohousing can inform an intermediate housing option for those people, encouraging social interaction and providing easier access to local services. We believe this housing situation can provide a higher standard of living and prevent the decline in health attributed to isolation. It is beneficial for the community and reduces the demand on the governmental institutional care system.
In 2016, we conducted a community engagement session to gather feedback and test if there is interest in the community for this type of housing. We presented our design for a potential building in Blandford and invited members of the community to complete a questionnaire with their thoughts. In our design, each suite has a bathroom, storage wall with closet, dressing table, kitchenette and shelving, patio doors to a garden, and a living space. The suites would be rented including heat, power, cleaning, and possibly some catering. In the main space there’s a full kitchen, dining area, lounge, laundry, and two multipurpose spaces that can be used for anything residents would like. This situation allows for a choice of homely social interaction or private space under one roof.
We were overwhelmed by the response and continue to seek ways to turn this idea into reality.