This type of communal living might really work and make senior living way more affordable.

By Steve Moran

I spend a lot of time reading and researching. My goal is to learn how to be a better writer, publisher, speaker and consultant. I am also always on the lookout for things that are are not senior living but might be twisted . . . or adapted to senior living.

I am particularly interested in ideas that might be adapted to make senior living more affordable. This is becoming increasingly important with things like the State of California increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour.   


Can’t remember where I first saw the story, but a young woman by the name of Elvina Beck has come up with this sort of hipster kind of living space that crunches together a youth hostel with hipster coworking space that she calls PodShare. In some sense it is a hip twist on the Japanese capsule hotels.    

I had my first exposure to coworking space when I went to visit Michael Owens who produces the Senior Living Innovation Forum (held this year in the Napa Valley).  

Michael’s entire organization of about two dozen people works out of an Upworks coworking space in Manhattan. It was really cool though I am guessing that at least on the floor I was on that at 61 years old I was 20-30 years older than almost everyone then . . . though I did see one guy who looked to be someplace in his 40s. Yet the energy and passion was powerfully appealing.   

I went looking for a coworking space in the Sacramento area when I got back and likely would have signed up if it didn’t take me 30 minutes of driving each way to get there. 

The way PodShare works is that you pay a relatively modest fee to have a bed, internet access, a TV/monitor, kitchen privileges and access to bathrooms plus lots of work space. As you can see in the photos there is almost no privacy and very little personal space. The upside is that you never ever have to be alone.

PodShare for Seniors

It is obvious that this concept as it is currently designed would never ever come close to serving the needs of elders. There is not enough space and not enough privacy. And yet . . . I find myself thinking there might be a way to create a senior living community with tiny rooms (a bed, maybe a private bathroom or a shared bathroom) and then lots of common space for large and small groups.  

The idea would be that these seniors would use their rooms essentially exclusively for sleeping but not for living their lives. Or maybe you can figure out a way to merge senior living podshare with podshare for younger entrepreneurs as a way to create a more dynamic lifestyle.

It is hard to know, but I am thinking for us boomers coming out of the Woodstock, hippie, hang loose, communal living era of our youth this might really work and make senior living way more affordable.