Written By Judy Shepalo

In October 2020, through the Hamilton Public Library, Ellen Ryan and I conducted a 4-week course on Resilient Aging and Innovative Housing Solutions. We’re pleased to announce that, based on the material covered during that time, we will be hosting an interactive course with a small group discussion in the spring of 2022.

The series of teaching videos are now available on the Hamilton Aging in Community YouTube Channel. Click here to access the playlist that contains the 4 videos.

Resilient Aging and Healthy Housing: A brief summary of the four components are as follows:

Part 1: Out of Denial: Aging in Community

We discuss moving out of denial with respect to issues of aging and current living situations and consider what might be missing and what might contribute to having the best possible future. We look at the benefits of self-education, the development of strategies, the economics of getting older and the advantages of living in community. Participants examine changes experienced in the last 10 years and consider possible changes in the next 10 years.

Part 2: Connection and Co-healing

As a group, participants look at the importance of cooperation, consensus and healthy, effective communications skills. We examine possibilities in cohousing vs the limitations of conventional care. Boundaries between community co-care and outside care are considered as well as social cohesion and its benefits within a community. We also look at proximity and its relevance to nurturing supportive care.

Part 3: Facing Realities of Aging with Wisdom

We look at institutionalized assistance such as independent and assisted living vs the advantages of sharing activities and resources within a cohousing community and how living in community inspires, motivates and supports a rich elderhood. Participants examine fears of growing old, ideas of mortality, what it means to an elder and how to support one another. We consider what it means to sage and the importance of participation to give purpose, meaning and direction to our wisdom.    

Part 4: Planning Ahead, Taking Risks

Participants discuss familiarity and level of comfort with the risks involved in taking charge and gain confidence in their ability to proceed with a participatory planning project based on co-development and co-design. We look at making changes as an adventure vs the risk of doing nothing at all.

You can view these videos anytime. Watch for an announcement in January of the Spring Discussion Group Sessions on Resilient Aging and Innovative Housing Solutions.

Click here to access the Hamilton Aging in Community Youtube channel.