Re: Aging Better Together Conference: Registration Open
From: Mary Vallier-Kaplan (
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2016 14:40:32 -0800 (PST)
I would like to put in a loud cheer for the Eden Alternative and Greenhouse
Project and the work of Bill Thomas.  His work on how to reframe and
restructure living in community when one needs the support of health
professionals is making a sea change across the country.  I have visited
several, worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on funding and am
working with a group to convert county facility to a place I'd like to live
if I needed such support.  It has many cohousing concepts - self determined
choices but in context of a community of others, community consensus
decisionmaking (not run by health professionals), community meals,
environmentally friendly, shared services, common room, intergenerational
both with those who live there but also incorporates school children, day
care centers, college students, etc.  Not sure we need a presentation at
May meeting but I think it would be great if someone who is knowledgeable
be present and telling the stories and opportunities and lessons learned
which are many.

Mary Vallier-Kaplan
Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm

On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 7:34 AM, Fred-List manager <fholson [at]>

> Arthur Rashap <arthur.rashap [at]>
> is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
> Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
> after deleting quoted digest and restoring subject line.
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> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
> I am writing about the Aging Better Together Conference. I have 15 years of
> experience working with Dr. William Thomas (Eden Alternative, Greenhouses,
> now on a national tour seeking to change the way we view and treat elders);
> with a top Area Agency on the Aging (JABA in Charlottesville) and several
> years working on and consulting regarding the planning of intergenerational
> communities. I had offered to share my knowledge and views at the May
> Conference and this was rejected.
> I am contributing here a portion of a talk I have given regarding the way
> we can view integrating those deemed to be "old" or "older" into existing
> or planned communities. I would be happy to send the full talk and/or other
> materials to those who might be interested. I would like to have been
> included in the Conference.
> *One Avenue to Consider for Long-Term Care: Aging in Community: The
> Trillion Dollar Answer*
> Aging is a team sport – if you try to do it all by yourself you will have a
> very hard time.  Aging requires us to cooperate and collaborate with other
> people.  But this is not what society teaches us about aging.  We are
> heading for a tremendous crack-up between the amount of money needed to
> support an aging population and the amount that is made available.  This is
> a mathematical statement not a political statement. We need new ways of
> thinking about aging.
> The popular view of aging is linear and one dimensional. It’s all down hill
> from your 28th birthday!  At the end of that story is failure, burden,
> disease, disability, dementia, death.  Individuals feel they need to fight
> against these “d” words.
> We think that dependence means that reliance on others is a bad thing.
> However, it’s when you can no longer depend on anybody that you die.
> When we dread something, we create a beautiful picture of the exact
> opposite.
> This is what is going on in the field of aging.  There are two options in
> aging. One, you can be independent so that people can use the word “still”
> to describe you. “She ‘still’ scrubs the floors on her knees. He ‘still’
> works 60 hours a week. After six face-lifts she ‘still’ looks 20 years
> younger. Isn’t that wonderful!” Or, you can be dependent. You can recognize
> that as you age changes occur. You gear your life to accommodate these
> changes and exchange time, energy, favors, and love with others to mutual
> benefit.
> “Aging in place” is a mirage, a fantasy created by our terrible fear of
> institutions.  Of course statistics show that people want to age in place.
> Which would you prefer?  Living at home or being thrown down a flight of
> stairs?
> We have a mythic understanding of independence. What we really mean by
> independence is having a say in the nature and structure of how we depend
> on people.
> We have two ways of looking at aging:  healthy and active or disabled and
> senile.  When a society gets locked into this contrast, the result is fear
> and alienation. Forms of assistance are stated in how many dollars for
> professional services.  Well being is measured by access to professional
> services.
> There are alternatives. Making these happen is and will be an exercise in
> creating an acceptable form of dependence.
> Arthur Rashap
> Arthur W. Rashap
> Home phone: (434) 995-5020
> Cell # (434) 218-8927
> arthur.rashap [at]
> 1719B Galloway Drive
> Charlottesville, VA 22901
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