work participation agreements in aging community
From: Melanie Mindlin (
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2021 09:16:16 -0700 (PDT)
We also have a small community and have found that the challenges in equal 
participation that you describe happen amongst all age groups.  Some people are 
not very physically able by strength, skills or dexterity at any time of their 
life, and cannot contribute equally to physical labor requirements.  Some 
people are not as able to contribute to non-physical work due to lack of focus 
or interest, emotional overwhelm or other factors.  In our community, older 
people tend to contribute more because they have more time even if they are not 
quite as fast at physical tasks as more able-bodied people.  

Participation has never been equal in our community and some people experience 
burn out.  I think this is a challenge for all communities, but especially ones 
with only a few homes.

Ashland Cohousing

> On Oct 1, 2021, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2021 18:38:28 +0000 (UTC)
> From: fernselzer [at] <mailto:fernselzer [at]>
> To: "cohousing-L [at] <mailto:cohousing-L [at]>" 
> <cohousing-L [at] <mailto:cohousing-L [at]>>
> Subject: [C-L]_ work participation agreements in aging community
> Message-ID: <332200024.595862.1633027108649 [at] 
> <mailto:332200024.595862.1633027108649 [at]>>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hi allI am wondering if there are any communities that have written work 
> participation agreements that address the issues that come up as the 
> community ages and there are more members who cannot do much physical work 
> and even have cognitive limitations preventing them from participating fully 
> on other teams that do non-physical tasks. ?Another community gripe might be 
> that those working hard to make their contribution feel it's unfair that 
> others either feel justified or don't notice when they are not contributing. 
> ?These are some of the issues?1. same need for physical work around the 
> property, fewer people able to do the work2.some people pay for hired workers 
> because they can't accomplish much themselves, others just hang around on the 
> teams but don't actually contribute much- as this goes on for a long time, it 
> starts to feel unfair3. some people have contributed extra ?over the years, 
> yet now should they pay because they are no longer as productive?4. in our 
> community, physical 
> work hours and committee work hours are kind of separate - there are 
> expectations in both areas and they are not interchangeable- do other 
> communities do this?5. we have a smallish community and don't have the 
> manpower to put someone in charge of a complicated work tracking system, yet 
> some people resent the lack of fairness otherwise6. People may not be aware 
> of their reduced capacity?
> I know this is big territory and has been discussed before, but I am hoping 
> that there are communities that have developed agreements and written them 
> down. ? Our community has discussed it a lot, but we have had difficulty in 
> coming to any agreements. ?ThanksFernNew Brighton Cohousing?Aptos, CA

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