Part of this was distressing but the push towards co-housing is what I am focusing on. I have been advocating this for the last 3 years. I tried desperately to get an Architect to co-author the subject as I have found several active and on going developments in the area that are models of this type of housing.
There is a wealth of books and contractors who specialize is "aging in place" and frankly that is something I am not sure is always viable. The Post links to a Professor who believes not and he makes the point that it is not always a sustainable model and again its origins are out of fear, lobbying from the AARP and the belief that there are all kinds of services available to assist you. We know that is not the case but understanding the needs and demands in build/design for an older resident is necessary.
As for classes on aging I am unsure I need that. I do think this is the never ending attachment to Boomers and their willingness to whip out a check book for any fad or fashion that passes. Although I should be flattered as we know that now MElinneals now are the largest segment of the population and there is not a day or moment I am not reminded of that - from craft beers to hipster facial hair - I can only hope they get as burned out as I.
What the article neglects to mention is looking at the larger demands of aging and the need for affordable medical care, public transport, community building and overall demands on families with an aging family member and those who have no family in which to rely. When you read that hideous and unsubstantiated article in the Post that women become severely mentally ill and incompetent you either go "what the flying fuck" or what are we going to do with regards to that? I go for the former.
We need to build alliances and we need to build community. We do both poorly and we do both well but we do so in such disjointed and disparate ways that once again this article demonstrates it is about income and education, the poors are not addressed at all. Yes we all age with pensions, extended families and our physical and mental facilities all fully operational until we fall, get depressed, have a disease and then off to the aged home where mistreatment and exploitation abounds! Man aging is a bitch and she is a bully Nurse! I am starting to see a positive in becoming a mentally ill idiot, I won't know what is happening to me.
Aging doesn’t always come naturally. Classes are teaching boomers how.
For The Washington Post
By Fredrick Kunkle
May 29 2015
Ann Zabaldo guided her graying students through the steps they’d need to take to reimagine the rest of their lives in the communal existence that has come to be known as “co-housing.”
“Nobody is ever going to care for you the way people who know you are going to care for you,” Zabaldo told the class of about 45 students. “Affinity is the new amenity.”
Then Zabaldo — who helped organize Takoma Village Cohousing and now works as a consultant helping other co-housing ventures get off the ground — plunged into the intricacies of finding suitable real estate in the pricey D.C. market, writing up policies on pets and shacking up with “Three Bettys and a Bob.”
Senior co-housing, and all its complications and rewards, was one of the bigger draws at what amounts to a college on how to age successfully.
The four- to eight-week courses, presented by nonprofit organization Iona, were designed especially with baby boomers in mind. Since 2011, a generation that has almost continually reinvented itself also has been hitting retirement age.
Ann Zabaldo talks to about 45 attendees about co-housing, an alternative to retirement communities, at Iona in Washington. (Kate Patterson /For The Washington Post)
But boomers tend to see themselves as forever young and have sometimes been reluctant to embrace the last stage of life with the same gusto as their youthful activism, said Lylie Fisher, director of community development at Iona.
So Iona, which receives part of its funding from the District’s Office on Aging, launched Take Charge/Age Well Academy in September 2013. Its core class is “Take Charge of Your Aging 101.” There are now seven courses, ranging in cost from about $115 to $145, that focus on themes such as eating well, physical fitness and age-proofing the home. The faculty includes regular instructors and guests.
“We want them to be making these core decisions about how to live into a ripe old age with a great aging plan — having all the practical decision-making things,” Fisher said. “Our biggest challenge is that younger older adults don’t want to have anything to do with us.”
Mary Gerace, 70, who has attended courses such as “Age Well, Live Well 101,” “What Me Move?” and “Mindful Living,” said life experience motivated her to enter the classroom again.
“I looked at the way some of my family aged, and at the age of 80, they started to decline,” she said. “And at 70, I have about 10 more years of productivity, and I wanted to figure out how to take advantage of that.”
During one recent class, Jason Dring, a geriatric physical therapist with the Isabella Breckenridge Center, discussed the physical dynamics of aging, such as muscle atrophy and the ways to combat it. Then he demonstrated simple functional tests to monitor one’s physical capability and keep it in tune. One such exercise required the participants to see how many times in 30 seconds they could rise from a chair without using their hands and sit down again.
“Thirty seconds is a really long time!” one woman said. Then he gave them their scores, noting that a 65-year-old woman should be able to do between 11 and
Ann Hawkins asks a question during a class called "What Me Move?" about co-housing. (Kate Patterson /The Washington Post)
That same day, Tori Goldhammer, of Living at Home Consultations, discussed age-proofing one’s house.
About 20 attendees jotted notes as Goldhammer offered tips on the importance of good lighting and hand railings to avoid falls, as well as using special door hinges to widen entryways for wheelchairs.
A larger group attended Zabaldo’s seminar on co-housing. The modern practice originated in Denmark in the late 1960s as some families closely organized their lives and homes around shared facilities in a kind of intentional community. Architects Charles Durett and Kathryn McCamant introduced the concept to the United States in the late 1970s after the couple, who are married, observed the Danish arrangement and wrote about it in a book. Senior co-housing evolved from the broader movement as communities aged, Zabaldo said.
The latest trend is that in Washington and other pricey metro areas, the cost of real estate has forced the model of co-housing to evolve from private ownership of a home and some shared facilities to joint ownership of a home — an arrangement Zabaldo said has come to be known as “Three Bettys and a Bob.” Each person would have his or her private areas and there would be communal spaces, such as the kitchen and dining area.
Today, there are about 130 completed co-housing communities in the United States, including Eastern Village Cohousing in the District, and about 11 of those are targeted to elders, Zabaldo said.
Though Eastern Village is multigenerational, a smaller group of older residents who call themselves The Sages operates as a miniature version of a senior co-housing community, Zabaldo said.
Such arrangements are better done with people you want to get to know, rather than friends, Zabaldo told the class.
“We are young/old,” said H. Weston Morrison, 67, a retired associate producer at WRC (Channel 4) who signed up for the classes. “We are not old as our parents and grandparents [were], and part of that is we’re talking about aging. Our grandparents just aged.”
The reality is that Americans who need government aid, like Americans living below the poverty line, represent a shifting population. A parent who loses his job — and the health care that came with it — may need to rely on Medicaid temporarily. A graduate who can't find more than part-time work right out of school may need food stamps until she does.
That's not to say that everyone meets this model. But it's hard to sweep people enrolled in these programs into some category wholly apart from the rest of us -- because many who needed help in the past don't necessarily today or won't tomorrow. Who's poor changes with time and circumstance. And their ranks swell and shrink with the health of the economy.
This point is clear in a report the Census Bureau just released on who participates in the country's major means-tested programs: Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, welfare and Supplemental Security Income (which is meant to help the elderly and disabled). Census' Survey of Income and Program Participation tracks people over time, and so it's possible to see what happens to those enrolled one year in a program a year or two later.
This new data follows participation from 2009-2012. And it reveals, across those four years, that the vast majority of people receiving welfare — about 63 percent — participated in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for cumulatively less than 12 months. Less than 10 percent were enrolled in the program for most of that time. Similarly, about a third of people using food stamps and Medicaid were what the Census would consider "short-term program participants." And the same is true of about a quarter of people getting housing assistance:
For further context, this is the scale of the assistance we're talking about:
At any given month in 2012, just 1 percent of the U.S. population was relying, for example, on welfare, the program that's drawn particular scrutiny of late.
This picture doesn't negate the reality that many people do get mired in poverty for years at a time, even whole generations. And some groups — blacks, female-headed households, adults with less than a high school diploma — are particularly likely to need these programs for longer stretches of time. But it's also true that many of the people who've needed a safety net have used it only temporarily — and that some taxpayers who support it now will likely need it in the future