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The senior co-living model – gaining traction in South Africa

Posted By Marilynh / January 20, 2021 / 0 Comments

The response to a 2019 YEI article on the topic of senior co-living
highlighted the need for safe and affordable housing
for seniors in South Africa. 

YEI is happy to see this model gaining traction….


diverse seniors 1200


In August 2019, YEI broached the topic of senior co-living as a possible alternative given the shortage of housing options for a rapidly ageing South African population.  There are 10million over-50s living in South Africa.   We had a huge response to this topic, which confirmed that there was and still is a huge need for safe and affordable housing for seniors in this country. 

Co-living is alive and well in Europe and the USA.  There are many benefits to co-living.  One major benefit being combatting senior loneliness, most prevalent in this country, given that many seniors do not have their families around, as young people have taken off in droves for so-called greener pastures.  Another major benefit is the idea of space-sharing with lower costs – this is not foreign to Baby Boomers, many of whom are used to the concept of co-living, having lived in shared households, communes and messes (Zimbabwean/Rhodesian terminology for shared households) when they were younger.

What is co-living?

Co-living, not to be confused with co-housing, refers to a community of people living in a single home with shared spaces such as kitchen, dining and living areas and sometimes even bathrooms.   Co-housing is a community of private homes on a single property surrounding a shared space or “common house”.   Co-living can provide middle and low-income earning seniors with a place to call home and a community, a concept that supports a purpose-driven life.  Seniors can cook together and share responsibilities.  Some co-living communities provide amenities such as restaurants and beautifully maintained gardens.  Some communities provide exercise areas, onsite healthcare, equipment and group activities.  Many seniors are tired of living alone, and a co-living opportunity provides a great solution.

Co-living is a viable and universally popular model for seniors.   Its simplicity and minimalism is perfect for the senior looking to downsize, escape the suburbs and alleviate the responsibility of maintaining a large home.  It is perfect for empty nesters who are in a life transition, perfect for the senior who wishes to live a six-month here, six-month there existence (travelling to and from children and grandchildren who live elsewhere), perfect for a low maintenance living solution in keeping with meagre SA pensions.  A win-win situation for most! 

Co-living encompasses the 4 C’s – cost-saving, convenience, comfort and community.  This kind of co-living is ideal for independent retirees.  It is not so ideal for seniors as they transition into their 80’s, as many of the “older olds” may require more assistance and care options. 

We are very happy to announce that YEI has three co-living options on its platform. 


CedarWoods of Sandton, Gauteng


CedarWoods 3


We were very excited to hear that CedarWoods of Sandton had launched a new concept of long-term living apartments for 50-plussers who were looking for community, convenience, affordability and safety.  CedarWoods has converted some of their fabulous hotel rooms into spacious apartments.  It’s an interesting concept – each apartment is private and separated, based on gender.  So ladies only will share an apartment, and men will share another.   Each fully furnished apartment has three bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom and a communal lounge and kitchen.  It is so cost-effective with rooms costing between R5500 and R7500 depending on size and room type.  This cost includes amenities such as parking, weekly cleaning services, top-notch 24/7 security, water, transport to local shops, hospitals and doctors, Wi-Fi plus a TV in each room.  In addition, all residents are given a membership card to utilise for discounted rates at their renowned restaurant, and you can use their world-class facilities for special events like birthdays or family gatherings.  It is a top notch security estate.  So if living on an estate designed with country charm, magnificent landscaped gardens, and townhouse-style appeal where you can connect with other 50-plussers, make friends and enjoy a sense of community, then this is definitely worth a look.

Click here for further information.



Mountainview House, Robertson, Western Cape


Mountainview House


If you are a 55-plusser looking for a tranquil, shared-living experience in the Western Cape countryside, then this could be the ticket.  Mountainview House also offers the new concept of long-term living for those who are looking for community, convenience, affordability and safety.  With single and double rooms available, some en-suite, some with communal bathrooms (separated based on gender), great care is taken to place residents with similar personality traits in the same room (should that need arise).  The communal space consists of two lounges – one lounge has a flat screen TV and DStv, dining area, beautiful deck overlooking the majestic Langeberg mountains, and a covered inside braai area.   The Mountainview House rent is inclusive of amenities such as parking, cleaning service, weekly laundry service, water, electricity, 24/7 security and Wi-Fi.  In addition, transport can be provided to the shops, hospital and local doctor.   Although Mountainview House provides cooked, healthy and nutritious breakfasts and lunches, the large kitchen and pantry are available for the residents’ use.  Leon and Hilda de Wit are your dedicated and passionate resident host couple who are on site to see to all your needs.  They have spent 2 decades in the hospitality industry and several years working within the aged care environment.     If you are looking for a country experience, then Mountainview House could be the place where you can enjoy a sense of community, make friends, connect with others and enjoy a working farm which boasts a beautiful garden, lots of birdlife and several game species (like zebra and eland). 

Click here for further information. 


Anna Sophia accommodation, Calitzdorp – in the heart of the Karoo



If it’s a rustic, stress-free retirement you are after, then here’s a place where you can retire in a peaceful, picturesque setting.  This is not a retirement home with rules, levies and regulations.  This is a different alternative which provides you with a lock-up-and-go flexibility in a safe environment.  Astronomical costs to retire are a thing of the past.   Anna Sophia is offering spacious 1 bedroom en-suite cottages suitable for single people or pensioner couples.  The cost-effective long-term rentals are in the region of R4500 (unfurnished) and R5000 (furnished) for cottages that have their own entrance and verandah and are set in a beautiful garden setting.  Anna Sophia offers a communal barbeque area, low cost solar geyser and pre-paid electricity, ceiling fans and air conditioner.  Calitzdorp is in close proximity to other scenic Karoo towns such as Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert, and George – just a few kilometres away.   The clinic and doctors are close by as are restaurants, coffee shops and art galleries.

Click here  for further information.


Requirements for all of the above establishments 


  • must be fit and healthy (these establishments do not offer frail care or nursing facilities)
  • interviews will be conducted with potential residents
  • criminal and credit checks are done prior to acceptance.


If you require further information on any of the above establishments,
please complete the following form.
Clearly reference the establishment (see below)
you are enquiring about.

YEI will send your enquiries on to the relevant establishments.

Please reference either:
CedarWoods / YEI 316
Mountain View House / YEI 323
Anna Sophia Accommodation / YEI 292 


Recommended advice from YEI:

The above is brought to you for informational purposes only. 

If any of the above options are of interest to you,
it is highly recommended that you conduct thorough and intense research
before making any decisions!




You’ve Earned It / YEI (https://youve-earned-it.co.za/),
the online retirement platform
for South African over-60s


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Relevant articles:

Farewell Old Age Home! Hello co-living!

Finding your sense of purpose in retirement

The unique challenges of Retirement: Challenge #3 – Housing

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