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The Impact of Cohousing on Older Adults’ Quality of Life

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 August 2019

Vivian Puplampu
Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina, Saskatoon
Elise Matthews
Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina, Saskatoon
Gideon Puplampu
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Ghana
Murray Gross
YWCA Saskatoon
Sushila Pathak
Saskatchewan Health Authority, Shellbrook
Sarah Peters
Saskatchewan Polytechnic and University of Regina, Saskatoon Campus


The global population including Canada’s is aging, which demands planning for housing that will support older adults’ quality of life. This mixed-method study is the first Canadian study to examine the impact of cohousing on older adults’ quality of life and involved 23 participants. The older adults rated their quality of life very high, especially in the environmental, physical, and psychological domains of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL_BREF) survey; quality of life in the social domain was rated low, which was surprising in light of the focus group data findings. Four themes of “belonging in a community”, “life in the community”, “changes associated with aging,” and “aging in place” emerged from the qualitative data to explain factors that influence older adults’ quality of life. This research provides foundational, strong evidence that seniors’ cohousing is an innovative housing solution that can support older adults’ quality of life.



La population mondiale vieillit, et c’est aussi le cas au Canada. Ce phénomène exige une planification en matière de logement afin de soutenir la qualité de vie des personnes âgées. La présente étude est la première à examiner l’impact de l’habitation communautaire sur la qualité de vie des personnes âgées au Canada. Vingt-trois participants ont été impliqués dans cette étude à méthodologie mixte. Les personnes âgées ont évalué très positivement leur qualité de vie, particulièrement dans les domaines environnemental, physique et psychologique du Questionnaire sur la qualité de vie (WHOQOL_BREF) de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé. La qualité de vie dans le domaine social a étonnamment été jugée faible, considérant les résultats obtenus lors des groupes de discussion. Quatre thèmes, à savoir « l’appartenance à une communauté », « la vie en communauté », « les changements liés au vieillissement » et « le vieillissement sur place » ont émergé des données qualitatives en vue d’expliquer les facteurs influençant la qualité de vie des personnes âgées. Cette recherche fournit de solides preuves en faveur de l’habitation communautaire, une solution innovatrice en matière de logement qui permet de préserver la qualité de vie des personnes âgées.

© Canadian Association on Gerontology 2019

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The research team thanks the Dean of Faculty of Nursing and Vice President of Research offices of University of Regina for funding the study. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to residents of the seniors’ cohousing for their permission and participation in the study. Finally, we are very grateful to Denise Smart of Washington State University, College of Nursing, for her assistance with the statistical data analysis.


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