Online Discussion: Alternative living arrangements for the elderly

Janet Torge is spearheading the discussion on

Janet Torge is spearheading the discussion on "Radical Rest Homes". Photo:

Welcome to our online discussion about finding alternative living arrangements when you get old - a companion to our coverage of The Baba Yaga House (click here to read).

A New Chapter (Wednesday March 27, 2013): 

Hi Everyone:
First of all - thank you for all your enthusiasm and ideas.
I think we're onto something pretty special special that we've decided to move the discussion to its own site.
Thanks to David Gutnick, Michael Enright and the Sunday Edition for launching this national conversation and helping us find each other. There's clearly lots more to talk about.
I have set up a blog where you can post your thoughts and let us know about any senior housing alternatives you're thinking about or creating. 
There's a special spot for "Regional Connections", so that like-minded people can find each other and explore living options together. 
I will be managing the site and ask for your patience as I learn how to do it. I'm doing my best to embrace the new technology of having a "national conversation".
See you at the blog.
Janet Torge

In the comment section we hope you will 

  • Share your stories about living independently as a senior.
  • Connect with people in your community who are interested in starting their own independent seniors' home.
  • Find out more about Radical Rest Homes.

Hosting the discussion is Janet Torge. She is a journalist, freelance writer, media consultant, former traffic reporter, doula and columnist for The Montreal Gazette.

She is also getting older, which is why her next project will be "Radical Rest Homes".

On her blog she describes the project like this:

"The idea is actually very simple.  Radical Rest Homes will be an association of people who are living together in small groups - from as few as 3-4 people to as many as 20 or 30.  A house of owners or renters, an apartment block of condos and/or groups living in the country, would join the Radical Rest Home network.  Membership would give them access to information and support to keep their living situation vital and healthy for all those who live there."

For the next week, Janet will be hosting the discussion and answering questions about Radical Rest Homes.

You'll need to use a desktop computer to participate.  Unfortunately the discussion doesn't display on tablets and mobile devices. 

UPDATE (Monday March 18, 2013): 

Hello everyone,

Well, your response is wonderful... and over-whelming.  We are now working on how to handle all of your comments.  Here's what we've come up with:

I will read everything through and post a "round-up" every day for the next 7 days.  I will direct you to some of the more interesting comments and experiences for you to read.  The Sunday Edition and I are also figuring out the best way to get everyone in touch.

I am so excited about the response.  Looks like some of us are definitely ready to do something.


UPDATE (Tuesday March 19, 2013): 

Some very interesting points are coming to the surface:
See "DTruesdale" - she brings up the point of not turning into a monoculture - where we are all the same kind of seniors in the same kind of place - too much like a residence. But we then have to ask: What is the difference between "monoculture" and "intentional community"?

"Lynn Sutherland" is offering the idea of cooperative housing that is also a cooperative business - running a B&B and making money together as we age. "New nova" has hit a mark and the comments that follow his ideas centre around "how do we start?" Anyone have the perfect answer?

"LJ@CBC" shows that there are some "radical resthomes" around already as older people just figure out that living cooperatively just makes a whole lot of sense. I am also encouraged by the age range in the comments.... Many in their 50's who are better planners than I am at 65 and even a few under the 50 mark. We need to set an example for those who are coming after us.

I think that we should all say where we are living as we write comments. It would be nice to read a comment from someone who might be around the corner. City and province should be specific enough to give us hope and vague enough to protect our privacy.


Comments are closed.