Being interviewed by two reporters in two days about “senior cohousing” is an indication that aging in cohousing is receiving more attention. And this is good, since we know how beneficial cohousing is to life quality, and can be a particularly good choice for older adults. Here are some of the benefits I identified during my interviews, most of which can apply to anyone living in cohousing. However, these in particular address the unique circumstances that seniors can face:
Although it's not what folks generally have their attention on when they start or join communities, the other side of the coin is that people leave. To be sure, this can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Let me give you a hypothetical dozen—all of which I've witnessed.......
With all of the above in mind, let's drill down on what you might ask if you're interviewing someone who has announced they intend to leave.....
Final construction details are near completion as we prepare to move into our Durham Coho building in August. As the first self-developed urban cohousing community in North Carolina, we are mighty proud of our accomplishment. We take special joy in the recent additions of beautiful gardens, of artistic “sails” on our rooftop terrace, and of our common kitchen appliances that will nourish our shared meals.
Coho/US has created a tri-fold brochure available for download printing. Visit http://www.cohousing.org/brochure
The brochure provides an introduction and welcoming to cohousing. We encourage you to use as a recruiting tool for potential members, and an education tool for the general public. Let us know how you are using the brochure, and how it is helpful; other feedback welcome too at office [at] cohousing [dot] org
Laird Schaub continues to be an inspirational leader and exceptional advocate in building community and living cooperatively. I am one of his many fans who enjoy his blog posts, which Coho/US will occasionally feature. This blog highlights the Communities Magazine, published by FIC, which has benefited from Laird's leadership for over 20 years. I encourage interested folks to sign up via http://www.ic.org/community-bookstore/category/communities-magazine/comm... Laird's post provides an interesting history of his involvement and where the magazine is today.
With due respect to the ancient traditions which anthropologists inform us are the roots of Circle meetings—and which therefore testify to the vitality and resilience of that form—I want to raise questions about how far to take Circles in today's context....While I don't think Circle is the one ring to rule them all, and I don't know if the Circle will be unbroken, I think it fully deserves an honored place in the pantheon of format options for cooperative groups.
2016 Update: There was a fabulous conference in 2014! Please consider attending our 2016 Cohousing Conference in Salt Lake City. Visit www.cohousing.org/2016aging
There will be a Regional Cohousing Conference in Boulder, Colorado, on the weekend of Sept 26-28, 2014. All cohousers, wanna-be cohousers and anyone else interested are invited. There will be topics of interest to both established cohousing communities, and those just starting out. More information visit http://www.cohousing.org/2014boulder
With cohousing communities taking hold in the early 1990’s, we have produced a generation of “children of cohousing.” These now-young adults benefited greatly from growing up in a cohousing community. We are looking for their stories, their experiences; how they have applied “cohousing lessons” in their 20’s and 30’s. Is there anything profoundly different about their networking and other skills, world views or approaches to life than others of their generation who did not grow up in cohousing? Ideally we could benefit from their participation in the 2015 National Cohousing Conference: The Next Generation.
Grace Kim responded to a query on cohousing-l to “cohousing veterans:”
“What should we (a forming group) be worried about / work out in advance / get a good plan for NOW?"
I'll preface my advice with the fact that I am an architect, but also a founding member of an urban cohousing group in Seattle that will break ground later this summer. Even though my husband and I are architects and purchased the land more than 4 years ago, it has taken us this long to get to construction (recession was not in our timeline, and the bank attitudes towards lending during the recovery also has hit us hard).
While it's good to do as much research and due diligence for free/little cost, I'm a firm believer that you will need to invest (mentally, emotionally and financially) in the process in order to succeed. (As a business owner, I've often said you have to spend money to make money - same principle here but the making part is the community).