Aging Gracefully in Community

5-Week Online Course | Starts October 26th

Learn about challenges and realities of aging in community, whether intergenerational or senior, and find meaning and connection.

On this page:

Course description

We’ve seen loneliness rise along with longevity, in our western culture that fails to provide a meaningful place for its aging population.

How do you imagine your life as you age? Do you see yourself spending time with loving friends and supportive neighbors? Contributing from a place of abundant experience? Enjoying both freedom and connection in a vibrant village? Intentional communities offer a radically different approach to the journey of becoming older.

In Aging Gracefully in Community, you’ll learn about the many variations of senior cohousing, explore the concept of eldering, and discuss the intergenerational dynamics that impact aging in an intentional community. With their support, you’ll also examine the realities of getting older and the often unexplored topic of dying in community.

We’ve brough together passionate and experienced instructors to unpack both the challenges and opportunities, so you can learn how to age with grace in community.

Live classes are hosted on Zoom. All classes are recorded and available on our learning platform within 24 hours after each class ends and through 3 weeks after the last class. 

Who this course is for

  • anyone living in an intergenerational community
  • anyone in midlife or senior years living in community
  • anyone interested in the process of eldering in community

What you’ll learn

Classes and topics in the Aging Gracefully in Community syllabus include:

1st Class: What does it mean to age in community?

Led by Laird Schaub

  • options for aging in community
  • the link between community and quality of life
  • the concept of eldering
  • right relationship with seniors in a culture that venerates youth

2nd Class: Living into Realities of Aging: Lessons from a Senior Cohousing Community

Led by Margaret Critchlow

  • senior vs intergenerational communities
  • community values and design to support aging well
  • co-care and neighborly mutual support
  • complexities and challenges that encourage learning and growing
  • social capital in community

3rd Class: Creating a Culture of Care

Led by Laird Schaub

  • safety and cognitive decline considerations
  • creating a care team
  • the intersection of participation, social capital, and members with diminished capacities

4th Class: Pitfalls & Possibilities: Aging & Dying in Community

Led by Danielle Williams & Alline Anderson

  • the balance between self-responsibility and community care
  • preparing for the needs and the unknowns
  • making it easier to talk about death and end of life
  • creating a vision that allows for a life full of meaning and connection in your final years

5th Class: The Art of Death & Dying in Community

Led by Lee Warren

  • navigating the dying process
  • tending to the dead
  • creating home funerals and home burials
  • supporting the expression of grief
  • caring for the caregivers

Your instructors

The Art of Facilitation for Cooperative Groups and Working Constructively with Conflict in Community instructor image

Laird Schaub

Laird’s specialty is up-tempo inclusive meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict and diversity—all the while being ruthless about capturing as much product as possible. He lived for four decades at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing rural community that he helped found.
Laird also helped found the Foundation for Intentional Community, where he served as the main administrator for 28 years. In 1987, he created a self-insurance fund for healthcare among income-sharing communities called PEACH (Preservation of Equity Accessible for Community Health) that he ran for 22 years.
In addition to his expertise in community living, he’s parlayed his passion for good process into a consulting business focused on cooperative group dynamics, styled CANBRIDGE (Consensus And Network Building for Resolving Impasse and Developing Group Effectiveness), since 1987.

Read his blog Laird’s Commentary on Community and Consensus

Margaret Critchlow

Margaret Critchlow, PhD, taught anthropology at York University in Toronto, Canada for 25 years before retiring to Vancouver Island. She loved learning from villagers in the south Pacific islands of Vanuatu and from residents of Canadian housing co-ops. She has written or co-authored more than 50 academic articles and seven books.

She was a founding member of the first senior cohousing community in western Canada, Harbourside Cohousing, where she has lived with her husband since it opened in Jan 2016. Margaret enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for cohousing with people of all ages, independently and as a Community Building Facilitator with Cohousing Development Consulting. 

Her courses, “Aging well in community” and “Is cohousing for you?” have supported people to better understand what they are getting into when they join a cohousing community.

Alline Anderson

Alline Anderson is a native Californian transplanted to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in the rural Midwest, where she is constantly astonished by fireflies, wide open spaces, and remarkable clouds. As the creator/owner of the Milkweed Mercantile, she has welcomed hundreds of visitors to Dancing Rabbit.

Alline was profoundly moved by the death of a beloved young community member in 2010, and the empowerment that came from burying her together with the rest of her Dancing Rabbit community. Equally as transformative were the last days and deaths of close friends and relatives.

As she enters year 23 at Dancing Rabbit, Alline has become an advocate of thoughtful conversations about aging, hospice, death, and natural burial. She’s passionate about exploring the empowerment of individuals in choosing how they want to live and to die. She is currently working on ideas to make Dancing Rabbit and other intentional communities more elder-friendly, and on ways to enable herself to become more adaptable and of service to her community as her skills and abilities change.

See Alline’s LinkedIn profile.

Danielle Williams, Presenter

Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams moved to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in 2012 after living and tasting the flavors at multiple other intentional communities in different countries. In 2016 she became the Executive Director for the nonprofit there, which shares Dancing Rabbit’s unique flavor of hope and sustainable living inspiration with the world. She delights in living in a 213 sq-ft naturally built round house called the Hermitage. Danielle originally hails from the state of Colorado, and her skills are as diverse and varied as the places she’s lived since then – hypnotherapy, breathwork, facilitation, marketing, and spreadsheets.. 

Her degree in Peace & Global Studies informs her vision of how ecovillages are part of a global movement towards curing the social pandemic of loneliness and meaninglessness, and creating a better world for everyone. She passionately cultivates the world she wants to pass on to future generations, and living in community (amidst all the highs & lows) is an integral part of that cultivation.

Read more about Danielle’s work for The Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit. 

Lee Warren

Lee is a devoted community builder. She is delighted by community of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and intentions. Her life purpose is to provide leadership in the building of community in accessible, natural, and blissful ways. To that end, she is committed to reweaving the cosmologies as well as regenerating the cultural wisdom that allows for us ALL to “return to the village.” The village is a metaphor for the collaborative approach to life that will repair historical damage and create a sense of coherence and unity. Cultural repair looks like conscious relating to self, to land, to dying, to living, and to other. 

As we return to the village, we create cohesive, supportive, inclusive, and life-giving systems that tend to the whole, most especially to the “more than human world”. In the midst of this deep reverence, we will come to see the divine in all things. All aspects of life are sacred opportunities for presence and soulful engagement. sustainable economics, conscious dying, and community of all kinds.

Read about Lee’s work at the School of Integrated Living at Earthaven. 

Course schedule

  • 1st Class – October 26, 2022
  • 2nd Class – November 2, 2022
  • 3rd Class – November 9, 2022
  • 4th Class – November 16, 2022
  • 5th Class – November 23, 2022

All Aging Gracefully in Community classes are on Wednesdays:

  • Pacific: 2:30-4:30pm
  • Mountain: 3:30-5:30pm
  • Central: 4:30-6:30pm
  • Eastern: 5:30-7:30pm

Testimonials

Kate O’Shea

“What I valued most was that the presentations really gave me a sense of what living in community can be like for elders – I do not live in a community yet, and the range and depth of the discussions were very helpful. Lee Warren’s presentation was uniquely meaningful, going beyond what I expected to be covered.”

Evelyn Delaney

“I appreciated each presenter’s organization of thoughts and clarity in expressing new (for me) perspectives about aging. I’d recommend it to a friend.”

Lulu Elmes

“It’s a wonderful course. It is not only helpful but can be transforming, and good for individuals, groups and the world.”

Haven Wright

“It was comprehensive and well-organized. Topics and speakers were outstanding.”

Linda Stiles Taylor

“The final two sessions gave me some great insights into end of life preparation and ritual.”

Course fee

  • Early bird discount through October 9, 2022: $199
  • Regular price: $299

Become a member learner

You get several benefits, including 20% off all our online courses, and access to our Member Library with hundreds of videos, guides, policies and templates.

Sign up for membership

Financial support

You can apply for a scholarship if you need financial support to attend one of our courses. We encourage those with low-income and from marginalized groups to apply. We’re committed to ensuring everyone has access to intentional community learning opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship

The elements of an online course

Online learning platform

Once you register, you’ll get access to our learning area that includes:

  • your course schedule with zoom links
  • recommended books
  • a dedicated discussion forum to connect with your classmates
  • class slides and other course materials
  • class video recordings and Zoom chat feed (posted after class ends)

Live interactive sessions

Each week you join a 2-hour live class with the course instructor, where you learn in a group setting with:

  • interactive presentations
  • break out sessions
  • group discussions
  • the opportunity for questions and answers, and personalized support

Classes are recorded if you miss one.

Journey with a cohort

You’ll join participants from around the world how, like you, want to learn how to be better communitarians. Benefits include:

  • opportunities to connect with like-minded people
  • opportunities to share ideas and stories
  • a network of support to carry your community project forward

Registration

Sale!

Aging Gracefully in Community Course

Starting From $199.00

(Price is per person)*

*Interested in participating as a group? Please sign up for a group FIC membership to receive a group discount on course registrations.

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