Fw: [C-L] cohousing for older people
From: Katrina M. Lewis (katrinaksu.edu)
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 21:40:01 -0600 (MDT)

Thanks for your response to my post.  Asking why there is no 'elderly
cohousing' (my understanding is that people prefer the term older because of
the ageist connotations of words like elderly or aged) or cohousing for
older people in some countries and not others is a big question.  I have no
idea what the answer is.  It could have a lot to do with the different
legislative and policy frameworks, planning regulations, availability of
private finance and level and type of government support for social housing.

I was not aware that there was no 'elderly cohousing' in the US.  I know
there is in Canada but don't have much detailed information as yet.  I do
have a report on shared equity co-operatives.

I also have a study about elderly communes in Denmark which says the people
in them prefer age segregated housing because they feel less discriminated
against and more able to be themselves.

I doubt there is one simple answer or best option for anyone as people's
needs and interests are so diverse.

My ideal is for age integrated cohousing where older people are valued and
included in community life, not discriminated against.

I'm aware of a few stories from cohousing in both Denmark and the US that
suggest age integrated cohousing has its positive aspects for both the older
members and the wider cohousing community and that indeed this is already
happening and that some communities in the US have been actively recruiting
older members.  Older people are great repositories of cultural knowledge, a
fact which tends to get lost when they live apart from extended families in
age segregated housing.

There have been discussions on the list here about issues for communities
that have a high proportion of older members.  I remember one post that I
particularly liked, said that in their community people aged over 80 were
exempt from work.

What I'm interested in learning about is not only the age segregated models
but also the issues and the benefits for communities that include older
people amongst their members.  How well does the design and management model
accommodate older age groups?  How successful is cohousing at keeping older
people happy, active and healthy compared to other forms of housing?

I remember reading something recently that said some older people in
cohousing find it necessary to move on to a higher level of care and that
when this happens the community feels the loss and that communities tend to
go to great lengths to care for their older members and to have them die 'at

Did you gather any information on this in your research?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Katrina M. Lewis [SMTP:katrina [at] ksu.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, 8 July 2001 7:45
> To: jan.forbes [at] dchs.tas.gov.au
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_Churchill Fellowship
> Jan.
> Hello. I am a Kansas State University Student finalizing a master's report
> on CoHousing as Community Alternative. One of the issues that is brought
> up
> in the report is that there is no elderly CoHousing in the US but there is
> in Europe. Do you have any ideas why it is like that? I have not found
> research that explains this.
> Your fellowship sounds like a wonderful opportunity.
> Thank you.
> Katrina
> Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 11:35 PM
> Subject: [C-L]_Churchill Fellowship
> > Dear fellow cohousing/community housing enthusiasts and others
> >
> > I just wanted to share the good news with you.  I've been awarded a
> Winston
> > Churchill Fellowship for 2002 to travel overseas to investigate the
> > application of the cohousing model for older people.  It is for up to
> eight
> > weeks.  I will be developing an itinerary for Denmark and hopefully also
> > North America (provided the budget stretches to both).  Any contacts or
> > suggestions for the trip would be most welcome.
> >
> >
> >
> > Jan Forbes
> > Housing Analyst
> >
> > Housing Tasmania
> > 4/99 Bathurst Street
> > Hobart  TAS  7000
> >
> > Phone: (03) 6233 4823
> >
> >
> >
> >
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