Re: senior vs multigen
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 08:30:00 -0800 (PST)
RoseWind Cohousing here, more than 25 years in. "Multigenerational" cohousing 
needn't mean a project overrun with mobs of kids. Yes, there are some 
communities which have or have had 40 kids. But our 24-household community has 
typically had from 4-10 kids, plus visiting grandkids, and it has worked out 

When we started, a number of us were in our 40s, with young kids. Those kids 
grew up and out and for a while we wondered if we'd end up with no kids. But 
the kid population has come and gone and come again. Now three quarters of us 
are retired, quite a few in our 70s, a few in our 80s. But we still have kids. 
One couple in their 70s is raising their now-11-year-old granddaughter. Another 
family has two teenagers. Another is a family with kids 4, 7, and 9. A couple 
of teens are part time here, in shared custody. 

My three young grandchildren live near by, and are frequent visitors, known to 
many who live here. Others here have friends with kids, who visit. Adults are 
definitely in the majority, and kids in the dining room are monitored by 
parents or others, to keep calm and be sociable. They don't run wild. 

We have a room in the common house with a ping pong table, and foosball, but 
the room is also used for a weekly art class and a meditation group. We have a 
simple playground with a swingset and slide. The big grassy central field is 
used for frisbee and soccer kicking. Our kid stuff requires little expence or 

The physical work of the community is largely done by those in their 50s and 
60s, some 70s-- the younger ones are busy with kids, the elders are less 
able-bodied now. The committee type work is done by all. But brush cutting, 
bathroom cleaning, and such are increasingly hired out. 

Starting out at 40, we are now facing more and more who are 75. I wonder how it 
will work out for communities that start out at 60-70-80 and age on from there? 
Almost by definition those who are forming senior communities are capable of 
running the place: I think the challenge will be 10-30 years from now. I 
suspect they will hire out a lot of the work, and not be as able to support 
those neighbors in poor health, if fewer and fewer are able bodied. 

I like our mix. 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau

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