As we collect information and continue to research cohousing possibilities in our community (Hamilton, Ontario) it’s important to acknowledge and recognize previous efforts to support alternative living options locally. We have become aware of community meetings, Facebook posts and more formal civic discussions dating back to about 2013. To our knowledge, cohousing has yet to come of these earlier efforts (we would be delighted to find out otherwise if that’s the case) but they inform and strengthen our current work in important ways.
One example comes from October, 2015 when the City of Hamilton’s Seniors Advisory Committee invited Dr. Ellen Ryan to make a presentation to its members – “Aging in Community: Seniors’ Options for Creating Mutual Support and Cohousing”. Dr. Ryan is a Gerontologist & Professor Emeritus at McMaster University in Hamilton and co-founder of Aging Together, a Hamilton mutual support group of seniors started in 2013. She also hosts the website Writing, Aging and Spirit: www.writingdownouryears.ca. A similar presentation by Dr. Ryan (her part of the talk begins at approximately 06:40 – other speakers also address local aging and housing issues) is available online from the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging (Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University). Their work – ranging from research into technology for aging and retirement income to consideration of sexual consent in those with dementia – is a valuable reminder of the significant asset we have in our local university.
When we dream alone it’s just a dream. But when we dream together it’s the beginning of reality [from Dr. Ryan’s presentation].