Re: Senior Cohousing versus seniors in Mixed-Age Cohousing
From: OC611NGC (
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 08:21:42 -0700 (PDT)
The more retireds you have, the more resources you have for community building. We have 36 households of which about 30 percent have children totaling 14 in the community.

Our community has members of mixed age, with many retired singles and couples. The younger adults with children have jobs, and have limited time and energy to engage in community work and childrens activities. Some of the mothers have a dream that the retired people will willingly pitch in as baby sitters, story tellers, play monitors and even game participants. Because these dreams have not materialized as envisioned, they are unhappy and express their disappointment in the low amount of interest shown in interaction with the children. Some have even complained that we are not a child-friendly community.

The general feeling among the retireds is that they have already raised their families and exhausted their interest in helping to raise children. Some say that they are done with raising children and now want to pursue other interests. Although they enjoy having children in the community, they are the first to complain about the noise and misbehavior, which contributes to a guilty feeling in the parents that maybe their children are at fault.

A seniors-only community has many advantages. The younger retireds have time and energy to work on maintaining the property. All of them have time to serve on committees and contribute to decision making. Very few of the parents serve on committees or do any work on maintenance.

So the more older people you have, the more resources are available for community work and decision making. With about 30 percent of our membership consisting of working parents, we are having more and more difficulty in finding people interested in devoting their time and effort to community affairs. Some of the retireds are exhausted and are pulling back. Some of them feel that their efforts at times cause emotionally-draining conflicts and are not appreciated.

I am of the opinion that the most controversial, emotionally-wrenching and time-consuming discussions we have had are on childrens affairs. We would have a more harmonious community with fewer children.

Norm Gauss

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bruce McKinney" <brucem [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 2:14 PM
Subject: [C-L]_ Senior Cohousing versus seniors in Mixed-Age Cohousing

We are in the early forming stage for a cohousing community (currently
called the Silver City Eco-Community in Silver City, New Mexico). So far all
members of our core group are between about 55 and 60, but we have been
planning a mixed age cohousing community and trying to recruit younger
people. I recently started reading Senior Cohousing by Chuck Durrett, which
raised questions about whether we should be forming a senior cohousing

Personally I'm still in denial about my age, and I can't see why I would
choose senior cohousing, but maybe I'm missing something. I would like to
get opinions from younger seniors in cohousing (especially 55 to 60) on why you chose senior cohousing or mixed cohousing and whether you think you made the right decision. If you are in mixed cohousing, would you consider moving
to senior cohousing?

Bruce McKinney

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