Aging in Community is a North American movement in which older adults take responsibility with others for the quality of their own later lives by building connections amongst each other and with other generations, celebrating our INTERDEPENDENCE and how to foster better community connections; where we live and those with whom we spend our lives — our neighbours, extended family, and friends. (see Blanchard article)

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Aging with resilience can be an exciting journey if we broaden our vision to seek innovative ways to foster aging in community. It is time for us to embrace our interdependence – to move past the North American focus on independence. We dream of a good old age of mutual support and connections – creating many options beyond the two modern established paths: aging in place in frailty (often isolated, without support) or moving into an institution.

For our blogs on Community, click here.

For more information, visit Cohousing Hamilton and check out our Mutual Support and Housing Alternatives pages.

Aging in Community: Video

Aging in Community: Underlying Values

Motivating values are very similar to those espoused by baby boomers in the 1960’s:

  • desire to rediscover ourselves and live more authentically,
  • to live simply,
  • to reconnect with nature.

Aging with community aims to be:

  • inclusive,
  • sustainable,
  • healthy,
  • accessible,
  • interdependent,
  • and engaged.



*Blanchard, J. M. (Ed.) (2013). Aging in Community. Chapel Hill NC: Second Journey. See also

Chapin, R. (2013). Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World. Newtown CT: Taunton Press.

Durrett, C. (2009). The Senior Cohousing Handbook: Community Approach to Independent Living, 2nd ed. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society.

Green, L. (2013). The Perfect Home for a Long Life: Choosing the Right Retirement Lifestyle for You. Toronto: Thomas Allen Publishers

McCamant, K., & Durrett, C. (2011). Creating Co-housing: Building Sustainable Communities. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

Pinker, S. (2014). The Village Effect: How Face-to-face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Happier. Random House Canada.

ScottHanson, K., & ScottHanson, C. (2004). The Cohousing Handbook: Building A Place for Community. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers.


Selected Quotations

Perhaps ironically, while the oldest old may live alone and emphasize independence, many are only able to be autonomous because they ask for help. They, like all of us, balance dependence with independence.

Meika Loe

Connecting with another person is a deeply fulfilling experience.

When a group of people purposefully stretch themselves, by connecting to each other beyond the borders of selectivity and commonality, a profoundly hospitable community is created.

– a community in which belonging, contribution and accomplishment occur regularly and naturally.

Now that’s something to look forward to during one’s second journey through life!

Emily Headley

Sitting around a table is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along.

Rachel N. Remen

Community is where humility and glory touch.

Henri J.M. Nouwen

We hunger for communities for meaning that can transcend the individualism and selfishness that we see around us.

Michael Lerner

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Helen Keller

It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual.

The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living.

This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the earth.

Thich Nhat Hahn

The fundamental quality of human beings is to be in relationship.

Jean Vanier