Revolutionary Principles for Senior Housing


| November-December 2009


The Committee for Retirement Alternatives for Women espouses 10 revolutionary principles for senior housing. To learn more about the group’s vision, read Beverly Suek’s “Growing Old, Moving on Up,” in the November-December 2009 issue of Utne Reader. You can also connect with Bev and the committee at their Windows Live group.

-- That housing should be affordable to low-income women
-- That the housing should support a sense of community, with people helping people, sharing and caring
-- That the housing should be integrated into the community at large, not isolated
-- That the housing should be built with environmentally friendly features and will operate with minimal negative impact on the environment
-- That there will be respect for the experience and knowledge of the residents, and their knowledge should be passed on to others
-- That respect for differences will be a key principle, with a conflict resolution mechanism to resolve disputes
-- That diversity will be a principle and that it will be inclusive of the needs of women from different cultural backgrounds, Native women, lesbian women, and women with disabilities
-- That the governance model will allow for participation of the residents in the policies and operation of the housing complex
-- That there will be options for women—to participate in programs, to have privacy, to interact with others, to interact with the community, to travel, etc.
-- That there should be a continuity of care—from early retirement housing to comprehensive care—at the same location

Excerpted from Herizons (Summer 2009), a Canadian feminist quarterly that covers the women’s movement with wit and integrity. www.herizons.ca.

Patricia Deitz
11/3/2010 6:51:40 PM

My friends and I, and other groups I have heard about, are discussing exactly the same concept! I am sure there is a significant portion of boomers (men and women, actually) who are looking ahead and know that we want to have living options different from the ones our grandparents and parents had as they aged. Community, and communal support, freedom and flexibility, managing medical dilemmas sensitively and reasonably, and so many more elements (including unlimited ice cream) are part of our vision for a delicious future, embraced by friends, and exiting with dignity. Your article was inspiring and encouraging. Keep on moving forward!


Claire Rombalski-Talmadge
12/6/2009 3:42:20 PM

So I printed the Revolutionary Principles for Senior Housing and found the print to be so small I almost needed a magnifiying glass in addition to my prescription glasses. How aging friendly is that?!


Jessie Ann Lusher_1
11/16/2009 12:46:02 PM

Many thanks to Bevery Suek for this great article on the need to transform living options for older adults. I heartily agree that as we age we shouldn't be segregated from our communities, but rather we should find a way to provide a supportive environment AND at the same time encourage continued participation in the larger community. I will definitely follow-up on the activities of the Committee for Retirement Alternatives for Women.