weekly blog--one for the ages
Fed-up with pricey, boring funerals? In New Zealand, groups of older people are forming Coffin Clubs where members gather to construct and decorate their own coffins for use when needed. They also have tea, sing, dance, and support each other through the aging process.
One club video shows members dancing and singing about forgetting traditional gold and mahogany coffins, and building unique, affordable coffins that highlight their individual interests and personalities. One coffin is decked out with Elvis imagery; another is covered in painted flowers and a poem called “Wild Daisies.” Next Avenue
Faster than drying cement. More powerful than a box of prunes. Able to circumvent government regulations with a single bound. Look! Up in the sky. It’s a luxury condo. It’s a rental apartment complex. It’s a cohousing community! Yes, it’s a cohousing community, a strange living arrangement imported from Denmark which came to the US with powers and abilities far beyond those of communes and ordinary 55+ age communities. Cohousing, which can change the course of being alone; where units are privately owned; and where residents meet regularly to share meals and build community.
Of the 168 cohousing communities in the US, there are now 13 exclusively for the 55+ crowd, with two more under construction, and another 13 in the early stages of development. In 2010, there were no cohousing communities in the US geared toward seniors. In most cohousing communities, the residents start as strangers who plan to help each other for the rest of their lives. Part of the home-buying process includes months of getting-to-know-you activities that precede the purchase.
“The best thing about cohousing is the neighbors, and the worst thing about cohousing is the neighbors,” says one resident. “You get to know people in ways you wouldn’t. You’re putting up with everyone’s positives and negatives, and striking a balance between being in community and being an individual.” Kaiser