“Carehaus” is an innovative, intergenerational co-housing project where older and disabled adults, caregivers and their families have independent living units clustered around a series of shared spaces. Designed for care and living, Carehaus’ communal areas enable shared meal-times, past times, relaxation, and more. Congregate care makes caregiving more efficient and safer: caregivers can take turns keeping an eye on those who need close monitoring such as patients suffering from memory loss or supporting each other in tasks that otherwise pose muscular-skeletal challenges such as leaning over to lift heavier elders. Reciprocally, elders can help watch over the children of caregivers. This socializing reduces the cost of childcare, keeps elders mentally fit, and passes on invaluable cultural knowledge. Caregivers receive monthly wages for their labor, alongside health insurance, employee benefits, and strengthened creditworthiness.
From Carehaus: Designing for Care, Building Community by Marisa Morán Jahn and Rafi Segal:
Caregivers play critical frontline roles in regular illnesses and especially in the Covid-19 pandemic. In the pandemic’s early stages, when our children have the flu or a bad cold, care-workers filled in so that we could continue to go to work. Throughout the pandemic, caregivers for the elderly and those with reduced mobility function as lifelines, ensuring they have supplies, medicine, meals, and social support.At the same time, care-workers put themselves at risk of catching or spreading the virus to their communities. According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), in the United States, caregivers make a median wage of $10 an hour, working under the poverty line and without sick leave. One fifth report that in the past month, there was no food to eat in their own home because they were unable to obtain it. Coupled with the threat of an economic recession, caregivers feel pressured to take the work while they can in order to feed their families.
Full article here.