COVID-19 and ELDERBERRY & WOLF CREEK COHOUSING
In 2018, Staying Put or Moving On released a short film about senior cohousing called “Growing Old Together” (view it, below) The subject is near and dear to many Boomers who have fantasized about recreating the communal housing of the 1960s and 1970s when they lived and shared resources and meals with friends in intentional communities.
Growing Old Together took us to Glacier Circle Community in Davis, CA, the oldest co-housing community in the United States and then north to Grass Valley, CA , where Wolf Creek Lodge cohousing nestles in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Elderberry Cohousing Community is in rural North Carolina, but not far from Durham. This tight-knit community shares resources, chickens and a vegetable garden with miles of hiking nearby. And like the other cohousing communities, they share a Common House with a kitchen and dining area for shared meals and meetings.
The residents of all three communities live active, independent lives and work together to achieve consensus on decisions that would impact all of them. But like so many of us, these well-intentioned, intentional communities hadn’t planned for Covid-19.
We had Zoom conversations with Elderberry Cohousing and Wolf Creek Lodge in May 2020 to see how – and what they were doing – during the pandemic. Both groups have valuable insights on how they’re dealing with the crisis.
Senior Cohousing: GROWING OLD TOGETHER
American architects Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant were inspired by cohousing communities they observed while studying in Denmark. While a few cohousing communities already existed in the US, they expanded the concept and soon the idea spread across the country. There are now 165 multi-generational and senior cohousing communities in 25 states with an additional 140 in development. We visited three senior cohousing communities to learn more.