Aging Gracefully in Community

5-Week Online Course | Starts March 30th

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

Course fee: $299 ($249 early bird through 3/12/23)

On this page:

Course description and syllabus

The final third of one’s life is a distinct phase and worthy of special attention.

In the Aging Gracefully in Community course, we’ll look at how intentional communities present unique opportunities to meet the needs of seniors—and we’ll paint a realistic picture of the challenges you might face, and offer suggestions for how to address them. We will also lay out what to look for when assessing whether a particular community might be a good fit for you.

We’ve brought together two 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 30 days after the last class. 

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

1st Class: Lessons from a Senior Cohousing Community

Led by Margaret Critchlow

  • senior community vs intergenerational
  • community values and design to support aging well
  • co-care / neighborly mutual support
  • contributing to community / social capital
  • complexities & challenges of community living for growth

2nd Class: Elderhood in Community

Led by Laird Schaub

  • the link between community and quality of life
  • embracing elderhood
  • how intentional community can support having a great life
  • options for seniors in community living and cost to join
  • right relationship with seniors in a culture that venerates youth
  • making room for younger folks

3rd Class: Integrating Seniors into Community Life

Led by Laird Schaub

  • the intersection of participation, social capital, and diminished capacities
  • safety and cognitive decline considerations
  • the synergy of intergenerational populations

4th Class: How a Support Team Can Help

Led by Laird Schaub

  • the case for creating a support team
  • the support team mandates
  • balancing transparency and discretion
  • how to select support team members

5th Class: The Hard Conversations!

Led by Laird Schaub

  • limits of support from the community
  • limits of diversity within community

Course schedule

  • 1st Class – March 30, 2023
  • 2nd Class – April 6, 2023
  • 3rd Class – April 13, 2023
  • 4th Class – April 20, 2023
  • 5th Class – April 27, 2023

All Aging Gracefully in Community classes are from 3:00-5:00pm Central on Thursdays. View your local time here.

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.

Margaret 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. She 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.


“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.”

-Kate O’Shea

“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.”

-Evelyn Delaney

“[Aging Gracefully in Community] a wonderful course. It is not only helpful but can be transforming, and good for individuals, groups and the world.”

-Lulu Elmes

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

-Haven Wright

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


Aging Gracefully in Community Course


(Price is per person)*

*Interested in participating as a group? Please email Lauren at

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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.

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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.

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