By Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach and Certified Senior Advisor, Aging in Community
The stereotype and dominant paradigm of cohousing communities as they've developed over the past quarter century in the US is that our neighborhoods are great places for kids, the next generation, families, call it what you like. We're all about the "village" it takes to raise a child, in the eyes of many.
But if you look at the reality of who is living in cohousing today, I gotta say, we're old. And getting older. The first generation of kids in many communities have grown up, and the empty-nesters left behind are saying "now what?" Many of our communities' founding pioneers and wise elders are facing life changes and even mortality, and bringing consciousness and fresh perspectives and awareness to all of us.
Cohousers are into building community and taking care of one another. And the Boomers (which many of us are) have been reinventing society's institutions as they age. So it should come as no surprise that Boomers are embracing cohousing as a tool for maintaining their independence, building interdependence through their own creativity as an alternative to entering institutions where their needs are met, at great expense and with loss of control.
We are all finding ways that our communities need to change as we learn and grow, as we age and our priorities and needs shift.
The Aging Better Together national cohousing conference, coming up this May in Salt Lake City, brings together cohousers and community creators from all over for deep conversation on the topics that really matter.