Re: work participation agreements in aging community
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 09:00:17 -0700 (PDT)
> On Oct 1, 2021, at 12:16 PM, Melanie Mindlin <sassetta [at]> wrote:
> 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.

Well said. I think age related or restricted physical abilities related 
definitions are self fulfilling prophecies or in the eye of the beholder with 
little to do with what people actually do. It’s a concern when we look at 
“other”. The categories are not meaningful.

It also affects what we count as work. What is the standard? Salaries in the 
marketplace? Aesthetic or ethical standards? Physically taxing vs mentally 
taxing and time consuming? Desirability — the number of people not willing to 
do it? 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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