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Golden Oaks Your Senior Co-Living Spaces

Sep 21, 2023

Lexington has a ‘significant’ need for more senior housing. Is co-living the solution?


Golden Oaks by Anderson Communities, where four single seniors live together in a shared common space in Lexington, KY.

The shared four-bedroom home is pet-friendly, with utilities included in the price. Anderson Communities have plans to build similar accommodations in the future. SILAS WALKER [email protected]

It’s hard for Lucy Jackson to pinpoint what she likes most about her new co-living arrangement in McConnell’s Trace subdivision. Spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers. Built-in cabinets that allow a television to swivel between the living area and the bedroom. Living with and sharing laughs with women of a similar age. Golden Oaks, a ranch-style home that allows four seniors to live together in a shared living space, is a new concept of Anderson Communities. Jackson has her own mini-apartment with a sitting area large enough for a small couch, a bedroom, and her en-suite bathroom. She shares a large living space — a spacious kitchen, a sitting area in front of the television, and multiple dining locations — with three other women. Call it pseudo-dorm-style living, but it is for seniors. For Jackson, it works. “I love it,” Jackson said recently as she stood in the kitchen.

Jackson had lived with family members and a senior independent living facility before moving to Golden Oaks. Neither living situation worked for Jackson. The senior living facility also provided meals. But

Jackson frequently worked and missed meals but never got a discount on the rent, which started at $2,900 a month and quickly climbed. Golden Oaks does not provide food. The rent starts at $1,100 a month. That’s much cheaper than many senior independent living facilities. Dennis Anderson of Anderson Communities spent months researching senior living to determine what worked and what didn’t. Anderson, who built McConnell’s Trace and is currently building Great Acres on Leestown Road, wanted to develop senior housing for middle-class seniors who may not need all the amenities of senior independent living facilities. Anderson Communities specializes in mid-market “or missing middle homes.” Part of Anderson’s push to find an affordable solution for seniors was due to his mother’s search for housing in her later years.


Co-living helps keep the monthly rent reasonable. But it also solves another health problem common among seniors, Anderson said. “Studies have also shown that loneliness is becoming a health concern,” Anderson said. That’s particularly true for the elderly.

A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that one in four seniors over 65 live in social isolation. That social isolation can lead to increased risks for dementia, heart disease, and other serious health complications, multiple studies have shown.

A fourth roommate is expected to join Jackson, Brenda Cates, and a third roommate soon. That woman is currently living in a one-bedroom apartment. She’s lonely, said Kristen McCollum, assistant director and development manager for Anderson Communities, who oversees the Golden Oaks home. McCollum helped decorate and design the home.

All the furnishings in the co-living space are provided by Anderson Communities. The tenants bring their own furnishings for their rooms. The home also has a garage for cars. They have access to a clubhouse that has a pool and exercise facilities. McCollum and other Anderson Communities staff have also helped organize other activities, such as going to concerts.

Cates likes that the home is in the middle of the neighborhood. She can frequently be found on the home’s front porch. She knows many of the neighbors by name, particularly the dog walkers.

“They look out for us,” Cates said of the neighbors. Cates, who moved from a senior independent living facility where she lived for about a month, said she prefers the freedom and independence of Golden Oaks.

Anderson Communities plans to build more co-living homes for those 55 and older. McCollum said that how fast those new homes will be built depends on demand.


National studies have shown that many seniors struggle to find affordable and appropriate housing.

A 2019 senior healthcare group study found that between 80,000 and 140,000 new senior housing units will be needed across the country by 2030 to address housing for the aging Baby Boomer population.

How many Fayette County residents 55 and older need senior housing is unknown. A new affordable housing study will hopefully be completed in the coming months, which will provide data on the need for senior and other types of housing.

“It’s fair to say the need is significant,” said Lexington’s Commissioner of Housing and Community Development, Charlie Lanter. “We have built 774 units for the elderly and/or disabled using affordable housing funds, and those stay full.

It’s increasingly difficult to find a place to rent if you’re on a fixed income, as are most seniors.”

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