Re: Re: Questions re senior cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 06:35:32 -0800 (PST)

On Mar 18, 2005, at 4:07 PM, <normangauss [at]> wrote:

The scenario painted of all seniors aging and becoming more dependent
simultaneously is not realistic. There are younger seniors and there are
older seniors.
Some seniors are vigorous and others are not. Sometimes, an older senior
can help another older senior if one is more able to render assistance.

And the younger people also have a ton of chronic illnesses and inabilities. Really, with new baby care, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, career collapses, dyslexic children, torn ligaments, and studying for the bar or whatever, the younger residents have far more "black-out" periods than the older. The appearance of youth is deceiving.

I think one of the misperceptions may come from older people looking older -- the infirmity shows or appears to be much greater than it is. We move slower. We have scars or weirdly moving parts. But these actually don't mean anything in terms of care needed or inability to do what needs to be done. We may not be climbing ladders but who many people do you need to climb ladders?

Life gets simpler as you get older. You learn how to do it with less sturm and drang. There is less downtime, not more. I recently realized that I rarely take day off. Without a five day week, set weekend times, or children who demand a trip to the zoo, I work everyday. I love it. But I don't say that to the young people -- they think that is weird.

While I think infirmities and illnesses and life complications are things a community has to think seriously about, I don't think it is preponderantly related to any specific age. Each age has different problems.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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