- Rooted in Care
Rooted in Care
Like most people, I didn’t think much about aging when I was young. I’m now 53, and many people I love are firmly in the elder stages of life. One recently joked, “I’m suffering from complications of O-L-D.”
These loved ones finally have the time to “do what they want,” and yet things like financial security, health, purpose, and belonging are heavy on their minds. And as a member of the “sandwich generation,” I’m thinking about the same, with two young teenage sons and aging parents. Trying to arrange my life, housing, and finances to allow flexibility for my family’s current and future needs can be overwhelming at times.
But when I feel overwhelmed with responsibility, I try to remember community. The glue of community is what ensures not only survival, but joy, personal and collective growth, and a culture shift that focuses on well-being rather than profit and individual success. The stories in this issue feature folks who are designing spaces and systems of support that build connection, and with it, individual and community care.
On a personal level, I am part of a group of people creating Rooted Northwest, a nascent 240-acre agri-village in western Washington that will combine co-housing, village living, and permaculture farming. Community is a central principle at Rooted. We start with a foundation of shared values, which are reflected through the village’s design and participatory decision-making, and which deepen over time through meaningful work and daily interactions with each other. Rooted is an intergenerational community—residents will include everyone from young families to retired folks. One of the buildings has only single-story homes for aging in place. And while intentional intergenerational communities such as Rooted don’t replace the need for skilled nursing or memory care facilities, they provide daily opportunities for our elders to be engaged members of a caring community, stay active and stimulated, and have a sense of purpose in contributing to such a comprehensive solution for the future.
I hope by the time my kids are old, places like Rooted Northwest are everywhere.
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