Do you dread Assisted Living?


My friend Trudy, an astonishingly productive artist, is now resigned to the fate of going into a retirement “home” to get the help she needs to deal with Parkinson’s Disease.  She has had in-home caregivers part time up until now, but needs less responsibility and more security.

The problem is, she’s relatively young, and has no close family, except for a “senior” dog.  Her children are her paintings, weavings, metal sculpture, paper cuttings, and photo montages.  Her house is a large gallery, some say a small museum.  Her studio is a remodeled two-bay garage, with dedicated stations for her projects, including Japanese calligraphy, and disassembling small reptilian skeletons.

Ideally, someone would by now have developed a retirement community specifically for artists, with workspace, storage, and opportunities to collaborate and communicate with other creative people who are professionally trained.  If anyone out there agrees, have a look at what a pioneering co-housing consulting firm offers:

FROM: McCamant & Durrett Architects, The Cohousing Company

We will start the fall with three workshops to help seniors and intergenerational cohousing groups, and interested individuals, learn the nuts and bolts of making cohousing a reality – including facilitation, development and logistical issues.

September 12-17, 2010
Silver Sage Village, Boulder, Colorado
A workshop for those interested in learning to facilitate a senior cohousing group and starting a senior cohousing in your area. The seminar will include five days of experience, tools and coaching with the field’s leading experts. The workshop combines group discussion on the issues of aging, and how to create a supportive community, with the logistics of cohousing development – making it appropriate for individuals with a variety of backgrounds and interests.  For more information: phone 530-265-9980 or e-mail ASAP.

September 22-24, 2010
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California
Chuck Durrett and Katie McCamant will take you through the steps of starting a cohousing community as well as addressing decisions about what type of community is right for you.  For more information:

October 23-24, 2010
Downieville, California
We have an option on a site in downtown Downieville for an 8-10 unit, senior cohousing project. This small town located in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, combines incredible natural beauty with vibrant, small town life.  For more information, please call our office: 530-265-9980.

McCamant & Durrett Architects | 241-B Commercial Street | Nevada City | CA | 95959  MORE ON:

Trudy Heeb Metal Sculpture

Found Materials for Artist

Trudy's Calligraphy Desk

Trudy's Pastels

Sketching Sabina

5 comments to Do you dread Assisted Living?

  • The writing about Trudy makes me think of the positive/negative activity I will need to do in 18 months as my spouse and I move into an adult cohousing project in Grass Valley, California. Wolf Creek Lodge (about 1 hour outside of Sacramento)

    I (WE) will need to get rid of 2 lifetimes of stuff to live smaller (and more simply). Trudy’s calligraphy makes me think of my photography. File cabinets of negatives of some significant social movements as well as file cabinets of Helen’s precedent setting, humane immigration work. The file cabinets are just the begining but a very apt symbol of our “stuff” We do have the proverbial box (house) around our lives that is truly filled with treasures but will not create one wit of community. We will happily, if awkwardly, opt for community rather than stuff. A bit of an adventure approaches. Regards, Robin

    • karen

      Maybe you should check with the Center For Creative Photography before you get rid of your achived photo negatives. It is at the University of Arizona and I think they might be interested in the social movements …. even though their most famous collection is from Ansel Adams. They are very strong on capturing history. If not CCP, then other museums or libraries specifically interested in social movements should have them.
      ALSO – let us know how the co-housing works out for you.

  • Hi! I just wanted to drop swiftly a friendly comment the following. Do you mind I’ve bookmarked this page? Thank you so a lot for this helpful content!

  • I believe you should look at my link above and tell me if it fits with the post

    • karen

      Yes. There are many choices now. It’s a matter of who gets to choose. A friend of mine rcently used someone like you and found a good but not ideal place. Nothing can replace your own home.
      I urge you and your colleagues to promote a book I just reviewed (I’m about to post it on my review page here): Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias; the Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide. Nataly Rubinstein (MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM) has done a terrific job of pulling information together.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>