How Community Living Can Make you Healthier

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I often talk about the financial aspects of community living options as we age. It is really great to be able to pool money and resources and live in shared house or community. Other subjects that frequently come up with this topic are companionship and caregiving. However, there are a few more hidden benefits we can take away from sharing a home or an intentional community with other like-minded adults as we age. Community living can make us healthier. Here is a look at some of the ways this works.

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60s, 70s and 80s – Why We Don’t Stop Counting at 30


You know one thing I am kind of glad most people don’t seem to do anymore? Lie about their age! There was a long time in our culture where discussing a woman’s age was a strangely forbidden subject. I’m sure it stemmed from the devaluing of women as they age past childbearing years and if I were a sociologist I would study it. I’m not, though, so I’ll simply embrace it and encourage it.

Our 60s, 70s and even 80s can be the best times of our lives if we want them to be.

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What is a Crone and Why Should You Care?

photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc
photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc

There are a lot of words that can be used to describe elder women and not all of them are flattering. They might include hag, biddy, battle-axe, shrew, and harpy. But there is a better word which we can reclaim and use to emphasize wisdom and the lessons we’ve learned throughout the first two thirds of our lives.

The word in question is Crone.

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Tips for Staying Healthy: Things we Attribute to Aging that Aren’t

I just read the most fascinating article. I think it may have changed the entire way I think about aging. How many times have I ignored aches and pains or mood shifts and attributed it to my age? I firmly embrace my age, I don’t try to run from it, but that doesn’t mean I’m honest with myself all of the time. I’m pretty sure most people aren’t.

I think the most important take away from this information is how to determine what is “normal” and what might need a closer look. Let’s look at some of the conditions mentioned in the article and see how we can keep ourselves healthier and in control of our own lives.

1. Grumpy old man behavior. While Grumpy Cat might be an internet sensation today, for decades the image of the bent and wrinkly old man shaking his cane and taking about things were much better when he was a boy was the gold standard for age related crankiness. Everyone is entitled to be in a bad mood from time to time but a permanent frown isn’t necessarily a sign of aging. If a sour mood affects your personal relationships, ability to work or sleep, or any of your everyday functions it might be more than just a bad day. If you are unable to identify a cause for your foul mood it may be time to talk to your doctor about depression or other health issues that cause emotional irritation.

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Celebrating Our Connections

Women for Living in Community is not just a website or a place to meet others interested in this lifestyle. Certainly that is a part of it but there is more we can do as advocates. Part of our mission as women paving the way toward a culture of change surrounding the way we age is redefining the entire paradigm. What does it mean to live in community and what makes it different from the experience most people are having today?

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I suggest that one of those ways, as we forge our own families in community, is to continue celebrating. I don’t necessarily mean a birthday cake with candles and party hats but really diving in to the meaning behind celebration. I believe that women building community have a chance to share our message with the world through the value of hospitality.

There are so many ways we can celebrate our continued vibrancy as we live in community with one another. Spontaneous dinner parties, game night, open houses, and “croning” ceremonies are all excellent choices. So what are these things and how can we implement them in our shared households? Let’s look at them one by one after the jump.

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Settling Conflict in Community Living

photo credit: Aislinn Ritchie via photopin cc

It is important to understand that even with all the benefits of community living, it isn’t always a bed of roses. Conflict between adults happens, even in marriages and between friends. When it comes to living in community it is important to have a peace plan in place to settle conflict respectfully. It can be difficult to separate yourself from the situation because you and your housemates are more than just acquaintances or roommates.  Here are some ideas for dealing with conflict between women living in community.

  • Establish house rules. There are many resources available for designing roommate agreements on line. Use these and talk with your housemates to create a set of rules that will not restrict anyone’s personal freedom but will keep the home safe and orderly. For example, there may be rules about visitors, laundry, cooking, and quiet time. Many of these are common sense but having rules in writing from the beginning is important for dealing with future issues.

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Beyond Age: Multigenerational Living

My primary focus has always been on women developing community to support each other as we age. Much of this comes from my own perspective as a baby boomer living in shared housing with other women near my own age range.

It seems that multi-generational living is currently on the rise. Many factors are contributing to this trend. Adult children are moving back in with their parents in record numbers. Economic realities make shared living situations more affordable for all family members. A generation of aging boomers who saw their parents hidden away in nursing homes is looking for alternatives.

Can families, whether chosen or by blood, foster community that disregards age and creates a situation for graceful aging?

In August of 2012, the AARP blog shared a two part post about the rise of multi-generational living. They shared some important tips on multi-generational families that I think are crucial to consider before establishing a household.

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“Who Will Take Care of You?” Learning to Rely on Each Other

Women For Living in Community is about being self-sufficient and self-reliant as we age but the key word there is “Community.” I believe women can be stronger together and we can help each other in ways we may not expect.

In 2012, 37 million American women between the ages of 30 and 84 are childfree by choice or by chance. For generations in cultures around the world it was expected that children would take care of their aging parents. The reality in our country is that many seniors are hidden away in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, even those with children.

There are alternatives.

When we ask the question “Who will take care of you?” what answer are we looking for? Is it possible that we are asking the wrong question altogether?

Click below to read more about community living as we age.

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Are You a Good Fit for a “Golden Girls” House?

Are you, like me, one of the millions of Americans who learned about the “Golden Girls” house through the TV show hit and loved the idea? Have you been wondering if you could live in a shared home with close female friends one day?

This blog, part one of a two-part series, will answer what a Golden Girls home offers. I personally know about this subject because I have lived in a Golden Girls-like home in Asheville, North Carolina for two years. However it took me close to six years to create my shared house and I’d like to save you some of the time! [Read more…]

Community . . . what does it mean to you?


Such good is gleaned by like minds and interests coming together.
We are at our best when we serve a common cause.
We are inspired and moved by individuals whose interests are similar to ours.
A group manifests a group mind.
Just as “many hands make light work”, many minds make for a more creative vision
Now that we are elders, we relish community more than at any other time of life.
Whatever your interests, services, or spiritual needs, stay connected.
Gather together.

~  From a deck of fabulous and inspirational cards called Crone cards.    

My favorite crone . . . Betty White.

Women For Living in Community