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Throughout your life, your housing needs may have changed. When you were young and single or newly married, chances are you did not need a lot of space — a small apartment or house met your needs. But as your family grew, so did the space you needed. And before long, your children were grown, and you found yourself living in a home that was larger than you needed. Now, you are faced some key questions:

  • Where do you want to live out your golden years?
  • Should you downsize or modify your home?
  • Should you consider moving to a life plan community?
  • Could you live with your children if needed?
  • Should you consider home share?
  • Many factors will determine the direction you may go (your health, access to health care, mobility, local resources, cost of living, transportation, etc.).

Our Aging Well Resource Coordinator can help you through all these options. Contact us to start a conversation.

Housing Options

One place to start is by looking at online resources dedicated to help seniors explore their housing options.

A Place for Mom is an organization that has been around for 20 years. They are one of the largest referral organizations designed to help families navigate the maze of senior housing options and have a dedicated section on their website to help you get started.

Positive Aging Sourcebook was founded by Steve Gurney in 1990. It provides individuals, families and professionals a comprehensive list of every retirement community, assisted living, nursing and rehab center and home care option in the D.C., Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland area. They wrote an article on housing options that you might find helpful and their website is full of lots of other resources.


Many retirees choose to downsize their home. Whether it is because you simply need less space, it makes more financial sense or some other reason, downsizing may be something you need (and want) to do.

There is a lot to consider when you start the process. AARP has some tips to help make the transition a little smoother.

Do you want to preserve or restore items in your home?  Timesorters is an organization that can guide you through options and services that will give you peace of mind and help ensure a legacy that will last for generations to come.


Many of us have lived in our homes for years. If you have a larger house than you need, but you would prefer to stay, one increasingly popular option to consider is sharing your home.

Whether that means sharing your home with another older adult, renting out some of your space or having family members move in, the choice is yours to make. By sharing your home, you may be able to split the expenses, or even build companionship. There are additional benefits if you share your home with someone who can take care of maintenance, like cleaning, yard work and other household chores.

Whatever you decide, it is important to be careful in opening your home to a stranger.

Seriously considering homeshare? AARP published a story about a group of women who made it work, like a real-life “Golden Girls” situation.

There is also a website called Senior Homeshares that is dedicated to matching older adults and helping them find homesharing companionship.

The decision to open your home is a personal one. Neither Compass Rose nor Engaged Health Group is advocating for this option. We want to be able to provide information on all of your housing options.

couple looks at house

Villages (Neighbors Helping Neighbors)

An overwhelming majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Still, there seems to be a lack of awareness around home- and community-based services, which help make independent living possible.

The Village concept emerged out of the needs and motivations of the aging population to remain in homes and communities. Villages allow people to continue to live in their homes while receiving assistance that supports independent lifestyles and helps with home maintenance. The arrangement provides help that bridges the gap for individuals with enough assistance from the village to remain in their homes.

Each village is a little different, but they all have the same foundation. Villages:

  • Are membership-driven, grassroots, nonprofit organizations run by volunteers and paid staff
  • Can coordinate access to affordable services
  • Provide volunteer services including transportation, inspiring health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities
  • Offer access to vetted & discounted service providers
  • Are based on the needs of your community
  • Positively impact isolation, interdependence, health and purpose of their individual members to reduce the overall cost of care

The D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia area has seen many new villages pop up over the last decade. The Washington Area Village Exchange lists all the villages and contact information on their website.

For nationwide villages check out the Village to Village Network.

Learn more about how the village concept promotes aging in place.

Get Started

The resources on our site are a good starting point to help develop your aging well plan. Everyone’s needs are unique — that is why we have people you can talk with regarding your individual goals.