Addressing Issues of Deep Aging in Community

[Editor’s note: this is a repost from Ann Zabaldo’s blog on MidAtlantic Cohousing website]

Coho/US Executive Director Alice Alexander met with 23 members of Mid Atlantic Cohousing in a “white gloves off” session to discuss the challenges facing cohousing communities as members are aging. What became clear at the meeting is that little has been done either in intergenerational cohousing or even Senior cohousing to address the period of time between “healthy aging” and death. This is the life stage in which “activities of daily living” or ADLs become paramount. These may include feeding, dressing, toileting, bathing, etc. Nancy Francis,, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, identifies this stage and the time approaching this stage “deep aging.” Currently, in almost all cohousing communities when members approach this stage they must find other support including moving to assisted living or nursing care.

To address the issues surrounding “deep aging”, Mid Atlantic Cohousing is organizing a working group of MAC members to study the issues and to begin formulating a cohousing response to keeping our elders in the community throughout the life span. MAC will work with gerontology expert, Janice Blanchard, to identify issues in late life aging as well as begin constructing the framework of a model that can be used by cohousers and others to tackle the issues. Janice has been at the forefront of gerontologists looking at aging and community. MAC is delighted to be working with this expert with a 30,000 ft view as well as the ground level experience. This working group will then attend the upcoming Aging Better in Community conference being co-sponsored by SageHill Cohousing and CohoUS. Together with others attending the conference, MAC believes conference attendees can design and take away a process for initiating a program for their respective communities.

For more information please contact Ann Zabaldo 202.546.4654

Category: Aging in Community

Tags: Aging, Conference, living in cohousing, Senior

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