Glacier Circle in West Davis, the nation’s first senior co-housing community, is celebrating five years of elders living together. Its members say “We’re becoming more like a family every day.”
Their history goes back almost 10 years, when several Davis friends set out to explore the possibility of group living somewhere in the city. Their plans developed, others joined, and they formed a corporation with virtually everybody on the board of directors. Then, with the help of friends such as Virginia Thigpen, retired developer and contractor, they bought land, hired an architect and a contractor, watched construction and moved in during January 2006. Board President Stan Dawson provided leadership.
Today, three couples and five singles in their 70s, 80s and 90s live in homes around a pleasant garden area at the end of Glacier Place in West Davis. There’s also a common house where the members share dinners prepared by a chef, and conversation.
The group meets every Thursday afternoon, a weekly tradition begun years ago when plans were generated and decisions about construction and financing had to be made. Now, there’s one business meeting each month and during the other three meetings they share personal happenings, life histories and the latest sightings in West Davis Pond, the wildlife area next door.
Besides meals and meetings, these old folks living together contribute to their community in many ways. Summer and winter, Lois Grau brings fresh flowers to every meal and Dorie Datel reads a poetic grace. Joan Stek, a retired physician, keeps tabs on everyone’s health. Ellen Coppock is the public relations contact. Peggy Dawson plans parties. Until recently, Sue Saum and Joan Stek maintained the books on meal expenses. Nancy Jungerman and Rich Morrison provide ideas and serve on committees. Board officers are Stan Dawson, president; John Jungerman, vice-president; Ray Coppock, treasurer; and Dorie Datel, secretary. Karen Klussendorf, not a member, is part-time administrator.
— This article was coordinated by Choices for Healthy Aging. To suggest or contribute and article to this column, send an email to [email protected]