Re: 're: senior-multigenerational dilemma
From: Kayelily Middleton (
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 15:01:48 -0800 (PST)
I have to respond to this. We are Raleigh Cohousing just forming a senior coho. 
We are just 6 households right now (2 couples and 4 single women) and our ages 
range from 60 to 76 and we are doing it ALL! All the planning, the marketing, 
the facilitating, the physical showings, walking the land, the minute takers, 
organizing and cooking for potlucks, handling the finances, the LLC, the 
website and responding to inquiries, not to mention planning quite a 
complicated project (coho including searching for, negotiating and buying 
land). We are spurred on by our aging to get our coho and built and move in.  I 
am shocked at what you say your seniors cannot do! 

So 22 years ago your seniors were the pioneers, the active ones who got the 
coho established and now they have aged seemingly poorly (which seems in 
opposition to the notion that aging in community keeps you healthier and 
happy). Our people are the same age and we are active healthy capable seniors. 
What a difference. 

Finances are always a problem, no matter the age, it seems. In our journey we 
have discovered a whole population of senior women who hardly have two nickels 
to rub together. Their stories all run the same—worked in a service profession 
like teacher, nurse, social worker with low pay and benefits. Likely no 401K 
unless they started themselves an IRA. And more than 50% of them raised a 
family and sacrificed their careers to do so, then were widowed or divorced and 
left with paltry resources. It is a sad situation. And in this political 
climate, government relief cannot be counted on in fact we can’t even count on 
what we have now like Medicare and Social Security to stay intact. It is 

I still think Cohousing is the best solution for aging and we are going to DO 


> On Feb 28, 2017, at 6:48 PM, Mariana Almeida via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
> [at]> wrote:
> Hi there, 
> I thought I would chime in. We have a coho community with 14 units that is 22 
> years old. Many original residents are still here. Consequently, we are a 
> naturally occurring retirement home. We are self-managing; we're organized as 
> a condo. There's a lot of work to do.
> My experience is that it's getting harder for all of us as our average age 
> goes up. Many people age out of being able to take care of cohousing 
> responsibilities. 
> If you map a host of tasks that you need to keep a community going from 
> hardest to easiest - the younger folks (60 and under) are doing the hardest 
> tasks. 
> For example - older folks can't facilitate meetings, take effective minutes, 
> plan complicated projects, keep up with legal discussions, and depending, 
> even retain information from meeting to meeting. Not to mention more physical 
> tasks such as cooking for the community. It's pretty hard to cook for 25 when 
> you're 70 years old with hip pain, back pain, etc.  Some of our elders can do 
> it, but they are wiped out the next day. 
> Another factor -- more limited incomes as seniors. Some of our older folks 
> are in a bind of not being able to as much as they, AND not having the funds 
> to allow us to get external help (with higher fees.)
> I'm all for age diversity. We'd be lost without it. I hope to be here as an 
> elder with lots of spry young things living next door.
> BTW, I just did a little math for 19 adults (non-renters) who live here: 
> average age 60; median 61. I'm one on the younger folks.
> This all might be different with a much larger group, too. We just need 
> everyone to do stuff!
> I just thought I'd put forth my perspective. 
> MarianaBerkeley, California
> On Monday, February 27, 2017, 4:04:54 AM PST, David Mencher <menchers [at] 
>> wrote:
> Hi Yoni,
> Thanks for your interest.
> As you seem to know, Israeli society has a rich variety of community
> organization, including traditionally agricultural kibbutzim and moshavim
> with different levels of cooperative economies and social design, as well
> as many permutations, usually more recent, of rural and urban collectives.
> What characterizes many of Israel's "intentional communities" is a shared
> ideology, be it social/political or religious.
> To date, no community has been established here designed along the lines of
> cohousing, as set forth by CHarles Durrett.  Before becoming interested in
> cohousing, we (a kernel of 4 couples 55-67, at the time) came together to
> discuss alternatives to the "for profit" assisted living or elder care
> facilities that currently serve the aging Israeli population.  After
> beginning some naive community building exercises ("visioning", if you
> will) we happened upon CHarles Durrett's Senior Cohousing Handbook, and
> were tickled to see that we were far from alone in our quest.
> As I have said- our main concern is providing suitable community life
> choices for aging populations.  If we are successful, I have no doubt that
> others , and not only seniors, will be motivated to explore the options
> that cohousing provides.  That said, though, I personally do not see myself
> as an ambassador of cohousing, rather as an alternative voice to the dismal
> "for profit" model of elder care in this country.
> David
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 6:35 PM, Jonathan Kallay <yoni [at]> wrote:
>> I'm curious how you're differentiating your community from other forms of
>> cooperative living in Israel. That's germane to the discussion if being
>> 'the first cohousing community in Israel' means you want to be ambassadors
>> for the movement, such that there are considerations of what sort of
>> precedent and example you want to set, and who should be allowed to
>> participate in something unique.
>> It may be that the senior-only aspect is an important differentiator,
>> central to the original vision, and offers something that is critically
>> missing from the current menu of options.
>> _________________________________________________________________
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> -- 
> David Mencher
> 08-9266104
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