The health benefits of shared living

Living with others offers a way to stay independent and avoid a cascade of mental, emotional and physical health problems.


Image: © Petar Chernaev/Getty Images

Americans want to age in place. AARP research finds that nine out of 10 people ages 65 or older want to stay in their homes in their later years.

That goal isn't always achievable, because of challenges to independence such as a limited income or chronic health problems. "Sometimes it's frailty. Weakness, stiffness, and aching joints creep up on you, decrease function, and keep you from climbing stairs or taking care of yourself or your home," says Dr. Erin Stevens, a geriatrician and palliative care physician at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

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