senior vs. multigen
From: Susan Elster (
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:45:01 -0800 (PST)
We are a group of about 20 households (so far) in Israel in the midst of a
site search for what will be the first Israeli cohousing community. We
began, explicitly, as a community of folks who wanted to age in an
intentional community, after dismissing current approaches to supporting
elders as unacceptable. We've benefitted enormously from the many cohousing
resources and knowledge-sharing available via (thank you!) and
wanted to consult with as many of you as possible about our current


Right now we range in age from around 55 to 72. As we continue to recruit
people to reach our target of 30-35 households, we are struggling with the
question of whether to remain a seniors-only community or to invite younger
people to join us, including families with young children. There are
differences of opinion on the wisdom of both approaches. Issues range from
concern about whether, in multi-gen communities, resources would tend to
flow toward children, leaving senior adults without needed services,
supports and amenities - to concerns about whether a seniors-only community
can be sustainable over time as members age in place (e.g., will younger
seniors continue to move in as the community's average age increases? How
challenging is community management for aging members?). There are also more
subjective preferences around living in mixed vs. seniors-only communities
(e.g., from worries that children and serenity don't mix to not wanting to
live in an 'old age home').


We recognize that seniors-only communities are relatively new and that
perhaps some of our questions are not, as yet, answerable, but we'd be
grateful for any and all experiences, opinions, strategies for addressing
issues around aging in cohousing, and words of wisdom from those of you
living in both multi-gen communities and seniors-only communities.



Susan Elster

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