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A New Approach to Senior Living

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Abbeyfield House in St. Joseph

Top image: Abbyfield House in St. Joseph under construction. Bottom: An artist's rendering of the home, slated for completion this summer. (Jeff Bossert/WILL & The Abbeyfield House of St. Joseph)

A new kind of retirement community is a few months away from opening its doors in the village of St. Joseph.  It's called Abbeyfield House, which was started in the United Kingdom in the 1950's.

It now has more than 700 homes exist there alone. 

But the concept of building a closer-knit facility for seniors has caught on in a number of other countries.  The St. Joseph location will be the first Abbeyfield House in the U.S., slated for completion this summer.

International Director David Coe said the Abbeyfield model is built in such a way that it ties residents closer together.

“You just see them enjoying a form of living and a style of life that’s really quite unique," he said.  "They support each other.  they eat their meals together.  And there’s so much research that backs up how bad loneliness is for people.  That’s a bigger killer than drinking heavily or smoking quite a few cigarettes every day.”

Coe said the Abbeyfield model has more recently spread to some of the poorest areas of South Africa.

The charity also has houses in Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, and Japan. 

Categories: Environment, Geography, Health