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Thread: Co-housing approach

  1. #21
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Military barracks, although that's a stock photo just for reference. The ones I knew first hand were mostly wooden frame buildings without such modern conveniences as Emergency Lighting on the walls and Exit Signs, and the beds were always covered with olive drab wool blankets.
    I remember my DH telling me about his living in some construction sites in northern Alberta where there were wooden bunk beds with rough army blankets. People would come off shift and use the same beds as the crew heading off to work their shift. The only really positive feature for these crews was the food was top of the line available almost 24 hours a day. He would come home on a Friday for a weekend every 6 weeks and flying back to the site on Sunday afternoon. I finally told him that I wondered why we got married as the weekend was spent catching up on his laundry while he slept. Turns out that a lot of marriages didn't make it.

    I was asking someone a couple of years ago who is on a construction site up in the northern areas what the accommodation and work situation was like today. It sounds like a 5 star hotel setting now - 2 weeks in and 2 weeks out. I mentioned a little of what it was like 50 years ago and he said that he would never have taken that job under those conditions.

    Has the military accommodation and work situation changed as much, do you think?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #22
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I like the co-housing concept. I wouldn't want to live in a dormitory setup with a random collection of strangers, but if I didn't have DH, I would be receptive to the idea of a roommate. On my mother's street of 11 houses, four are occupied by widows living alone. These are modest houses, but large enough to have once accommodated families of 4-5 people, in fact one of the homes even has an in-law apartment set-up. It seems like a waste of resources to have one person inhabit so much space, and it becomes a burden, financially and otherwise, to the inhabitants as they age.
    DH said we seem to have a reasonable societal model for growing up and moving out to our own homes, but not so much at the other end of our lives. From what I have seen of assisted living facilities in our area, you need an awful lot of money to live decently. I have an uncle currently living in a lovely place that is $4600 for independent living, then $7200 a month for assisted living. On the other end of the spectrum, my MIL is now medicaid-funded in a crappy nursing home. There don't seem to be options in the middle.

  3. #23
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    One concept that has not been mentioned is what I hope will happen in my life. I live in my own home and, if necessary, have a support person/couple live in part of the house.

    I know there are vulnerabilities with this but these can be managed appropriately. If the cost of assisted living indicates that I will spend $$$$ money in a facility or in my own home making the decisions, I will stay in my own home. From reports that I read over the past few years, it is only the last year of life that basically independent individuals need extra personal care. My lawn and gardens are low maintenance and the snow removal is minor. I made all the decisions with this in mind when I purchased this home.

    For me being forced to live in a single bedroom condo/apartment because I don't have a partner at present and being judged by society as wasteful in having a home of my own seems very, very wrong to me. It is ageist and patriarchal thinking that a solo loses the freedom of choice but couples have total freedom. RUBBISH!!!!!
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  4. #24
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    DH said we seem to have a reasonable societal model for growing up and moving out to our own homes, but not so much at the other end of our lives. From what I have seen of assisted living facilities in our area, you need an awful lot of money to live decently. I have an uncle currently living in a lovely place that is $4600 for independent living, then $7200 a month for assisted living. On the other end of the spectrum, my MIL is now medicaid-funded in a crappy nursing home. There don't seem to be options in the middle.
    We recently moved MiL into assisted living (she should have done it a few years ago but we waited for it to either become her idea or a dire necessity and her idea occurred first). Middling place in her community costs about $3600 per month. Divided by 30 days, however, that does not seem terribly unreasonable for room, board, housekeeping, medical attention, common amenities (movie nights, community room/chapel, social events), capital improvement for the building, and a margin that allows residents to stay once private money runs out and MA kicks in.

    One of the problems with cohousing in most communities/cities is that building codes have outlawed a lot of it. In an attempt to get away from the "unsavory" look of boarding houses and multi-family housing, municipalities have made it difficult to let even consenting adults gather independently but legally. But creative people have found ways to work the system:

    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #25
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    One concept that has not been mentioned is what I hope will happen in my life. I live in my own home and, if necessary, have a support person/couple live in part of the house.

    I know there are vulnerabilities with this but these can be managed appropriately. If the cost of assisted living indicates that I will spend $$$$ money in a facility or in my own home making the decisions, I will stay in my own home. From reports that I read over the past few years, it is only the last year of life that basically independent individuals need extra personal care. My lawn and gardens are low maintenance and the snow removal is minor. I made all the decisions with this in mind when I purchased this home.

    For me being forced to live in a single bedroom condo/apartment because I don't have a partner at present and being judged by society as wasteful in having a home of my own seems very, very wrong to me. It is ageist and patriarchal thinking that a solo loses the freedom of choice but couples have total freedom. RUBBISH!!!!!
    When I think about my own elders, they all lived all or just about all of their lives in their own homes, with no assistance. I always wonder about the impact of the stress and disruption of change in living quarters might on older adults. At a certain point, I think it can be harmful from a cognitive standpoint.

    I had a long-time neighbor across the street, whose husband died shortly after he retired, and she lived alone in the large bi-level for about 10 years--constantly harassed by her son to move down to Texas so she would be near him and her grandchildren. Sounds great, but she always dug in her heels--until she gave in a couple of years ago. I know she was very ambivalent about the move and I remember her tears when she would talk about leaving.

    I think about her these days as we prepare to leave, and as nostalgic as I get (I am going through serious bouts of "well maybe DS won't like it and I'll have a chance to move back in."), I'm glad I'm doing it now. If I waited another 10 or 15 years, I think it would be all that much harder. And as great as it's been here for 34 years I don't feel this expensive bedroom community is the place I want to die in.

    I agree that living independently with home help as needed would be preferable to an "old folks home" of any description.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    It’s one reason we downsized to a one level smaller ranch. If the house was too much I could move into a smaller condo. Having lived with kids, spouses and adult kids when the need arose no way in hell I am voluntarily living with anyone but my spouse again. Assisted living here is unaffordable. Most in my family never needed nursing home care. If they did it was less than a year.

  7. #27
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    After my husband passed, I teamed up with a long time friend, also female, also disabled on social security. We have a life, instead of going broke and struggling financially and with loneliness. We have 1 1/2 acres, live in a 4 BR 2 BA mobile home with a nice garden, pets, friends nearby, and we have a great time and help one another with chores. Except for strangers sometimes assuming we are gay (why does it even matter anymore? But its irritating when they make snide comments. We don't even share beds or baths) our families are approving (we all know each other) and our life is a happy one. If folks do not have a best friend to team up with, why not a network? Its a great idea!

  8. #28
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kappydell View Post
    After my husband passed, I teamed up with a long time friend, also female, also disabled on social security. We have a life, instead of going broke and struggling financially and with loneliness. We have 1 1/2 acres, live in a 4 BR 2 BA mobile home with a nice garden, pets, friends nearby, and we have a great time and help one another with chores. Except for strangers sometimes assuming we are gay (why does it even matter anymore? But its irritating when they make snide comments. We don't even share beds or baths) our families are approving (we all know each other) and our life is a happy one. If folks do not have a best friend to team up with, why not a network? Its a great idea!
    This is bad ass! Fully support this.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    So sorry about your husband. Your situation sounds very nice. Different things work for people.

  10. #30
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    Yes, boarding houses have pretty much been legislated out of existence. Too bad, the good ones were far better than todays "group homes" and allowed a family setting for those that were alone later in life.

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