Posted 05/05/2021

New Multi-generational Communities Unveiled as Future Model for Seniors

New Multi-generational Communities Unveiled as Future Model for Seniors

Recently Dr. William Thomas, founder of Eden Alternative®, Green Houses® and ChangingAging.org, spent five years traveling the country talking with elders and people who care about elders in more than 125 cities. He heard their stories, hopes, and fears. Thomas states, "It turns out that older people pretty much want what everyone else wants: to belong to a community that includes people of all ages and remain connected to the living world." Thomas, a nationally recognized geriatrician, has been outspoken about the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic on elders and their families. Thomas states, "Infection control policies protected us but, over the past year, elders paid a terrible price for this protection… a pandemic of loneliness and social isolation."

Thomas is introducing a new option for elders that offers "the possibility of being independent—together," called Kallimos Communities. With a design once known as "bungalow courts," and now "pocket neighborhoods," new multi-generational communities offer small dwellings clustered around shared green space. Kallimos plans to reduce the cost of living, encourage neighborliness, and feature optional shared households that Millennials call "co-living." Thomas states, "Some of the loneliest elders in America live at home on streets filled with houses but without friends, family, or neighbors as part of their daily life, and…large senior living buildings offer a solution for some but can be expensive and often carry the stigma of being "old folks' homes."

Thomas first wrote about this type of living in the 1990's in his first novel, In the Arms of Elders, telling the story of a land where elders "lived in the heart of the community" that was home to people of all ages and abilities. The community, "Kallimos" is a word that describes "a beautiful way of living."  Kallimos Communities are MAGIC (multi-ability, multi-generational, inclusive, co-living) developed at the University of Southern Indiana, as a place people of all ages and abilities can call home. 

Thomas states, "Clearly the public's preferences, and policymakers' priorities, are swinging toward greater access to home and community-based services, giving people more choices and control over where they want to live." Thomas sees the need for the architecture and neighborhood cultures to catch up with "the way we want to live in the future" stating that "Kallimos Communities will bring new neighborhoods to life and help the people who choose to live in them experience the greatest health and well-being possible."  

Learn more at http://www.kallimos.com.

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