Loneliness can be as dangerous to your health as smoking

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In a recent article in the Seattle Times (Battling the rising cost of living? Seeking a community? A look at the cohousing lifestyle) it was interesting to read about the huge surge of interest in cohousing. As the article points out, up to recently only a small part of the population knew about cohousing, let alone lived in cohousing developments. Now there are 13 completed cohousing developments in Canada, with nine developing and two under construction.

So why the increased interest in cohousing? One aspect, according to Nicole Brodeur’s story in the Seattle Times is that it attracts those that are looking to escape the increasing cost of living and combine resources with a like-minded community. Another factor is to do with your health.

Research has shown that people live longer when they’re socially engaged. In a blog by Dr. Tzvi Doron, he writes that loneliness is as dangerous to your health as smoking and an even bigger risk factor than obesity and sedentary lifestyle.  

How does cohousing help? It’s about having strong social relationships. Cohousing strives to create the sense of a village where neighbours know and support each other, encouraging a sense of community while maintaining options for privacy. It is an alternative development model in which the future residents participate in the planning, design and development of their community so it directly meets their needs.

Ravens Crossing Cohousing is one of the developing cohousing communities on Vancouver Island. We have secured a wonderful site in Sidney within a ten-minute walk of the Sidney town center, the waterfront, amenities and services. We envision a community of introverts and extroverts in all ages and stages of life who value privacy and connection within a simpler, healthier, and more energy-efficient environment, in a place primarily of compact, creatively-designed bright apartments with extensive common facilities to augment our private dwellings and support us to have more connection with our neighbours.

Research has shown that your overall “survival rate” increases to 50% if you have strong social relationships. Cohousing is one such way to achieve this.

Ravens Crossing Cohousing offers information sessions and workshops so that you can find out more about cohousing and the Ravens Crossing Cohousing Development in Sidney. Visit our website (www.ravenscrossingcohousing.ca) to find out more.

Fiona chandler