The Social Portfolio

What a great concept!

Social capital’s a fairly common buzzword these days, but I especially like the idea of taking stock of our connections. This notion, of a social portfolio, has been on my mind all week. In our age of near-constant digital connectivity, embracing our tangible community circles seems about as important as ever. I say this as a millennial, who's blessed to live in a tight-knit town. Yet this value finds equal footing as we age – and the clip where this concept came from brings this idea home.

“Autonomy is most people’s biggest priority. Help is the sunny side of control.”

An audio clip from CBC Canada has been circling the cohousing world this week. The episode focuses on Harbourside Cohousing, in Sooke, British Columbia. On the tip of Vancouver Island, Canada’s second senior-focused cohousing community is rapidly taking shape. After two cohousing-members-to-be, an architect and anthropologist, took an Aging Successfully course with Chuck Durrett in the states, they returned enthused to launch a group. They’ve since then began facilitating their own version of the course, to launch the next wave of senior cohousing groups as their own community breaks ground.

Part of an interview for a documentary titled My Last Big Adventure, the clip below is peppered with members’ insights on aging well and community building. Definitely worth listening and sharing.

A few of my favorite gems from the community’s future-residents:

“We’re trying to revolutionize what it means to grow old!”

“I think you have to train for old age…if you don’t, it takes you by surprise.”

“Isn’t life a social experiment? This is a strategy for flourishing for the rest of our days. By living small, sharing and staying active and connected.”

“It’s easy to examine our finances. How many of us really look at our social portfolio?”

“This is probably my last big adventure, and I intend to enjoy it.”

Listen to the audio clip on CBC Radio here: BC Seniors build a new way to age in place.

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