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Study Group Tips for The Perfect Home

     In The Perfect Home For a Long Life, I devoted a chapter to reasons for optimism. Marlene Chan is a good example. She's taking the expertise she acquired as a federal government policy analyst and applying it to how we house ourselves for the future. In Spring 2014, Marlene plans to offer a course on this topic through the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL), and she's doing her homework first. As an example of the thoroughness with which she tackles things, she tracked down two study groups looking at The Perfect Home for a Long Life and asked them for their advice. The ones she reached are at opposite ends of the country, one in Halifax, NS and the other on Quadra Island, BC.

     Pat Kipping has been facilitating The Reboom Housing Boomers Study Group in Halifax, since May. In their last session they looked more closely at some of the ideas in The Perfect Home for a Long Life around sharing amenities and services and what ‘living in community’ means. In 2014, they intend to take some practical steps to identifying new initiatives they may want to start or join. On Quadra Island, Marlene reached Dirk van der Minne who is participating with the Quadra Circle in a study group on The Perfect Home for a Long Life.

Here are some things Marlene learned:

  • If there is no continuity in attendance, the composition of each meeting changes and it's hard to make progress. Most of the time is spent on basic introductions and getting to know one other and their particular situation, rather than moving the agenda forward. Advice: If your goal is to come up with specific projects, expect that progress will be slow. Otherwise, be content to stimulate people's thinking about their own personal strategies.
  • Since people's needs and wants are unique, coming to agreement on a joint approach to tackling future housing requirements is challenging. It can be hard to come together as a group because the solutions are so personal. Advice: Look for commonalities.

In addition to this good advice, Marlene passes along the following resources she will be exploring in her course in addition to The Perfect Home For a Long Life.

  • Canadian Association for Gerontology - Friendly Housing for an Older Population - Fireside Chat, November 27, 2013
  • CBC Sunday Edition "Alternative living arrangements for the elderly"
  • Radical Rest Homes
  • Future Social: Design Ideas, Essays and Discussions on Social Housing for the 'Hardest-To-House' by Matthew Soules
  • The Human Scale, a film directed by Andreas Møl Dalsgaard
  • "Rahul Mehrotra: Working in Mumbai" Mellon Lecture, December 5, 2013

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Reader Comments (1)

There is a growing group of boomers and seniors who want to bring the Baba Yaga model to Toronto. Please contact us if you are interested these issues which L.Green discussed in her two recent books.
Baba Yaga Place will be a self-managed residential community, based on principles of feminism, autonomy, and mutual support, where members engage with each other and with the broader community as we age.



December 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriris murray

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