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For The Aging, A Commune-like Alternative In NY

The adult home is licensed and inspected by the state and is in good standing. It doesn't accept federal or state aid. Workers are paid according to need, and their housing, food and transportation â¿¿ there are community cars â¿¿ are included.

"Two people doing the same job might get very different stipends," Bosch said. "One might have children, one might not."

Matt Uppenbrink, 44, a former businessman in the fashion world who now lives at Fellowship with his wife and two children, is on the community's "financial circle" but also does his bit in the adult home.

"When I got my MBA, I didn't think I'd be helping somebody to go to the toilet," he said. "But years ago, with Grandma and Grandpa in the house, that's how it was done. What we do here is like helping a friend or helping a loved one. My dad is in a nursing home, and I wish he had this instead."

Rachel Berman, a 47-year-old former New York City teacher, lives at the community with her 10-year-old daughter.

"We cook, we farm, we care for the elderly," Berman said. "I was in the Peace Corps, and I lived for a while on a kibbutz in Israel, so community life was important to me."

The workers "get to see the stages of an elder's journey, different approaches to the end of life," Uppenbrink said. "You get to see the process happen. It gives you something to work with in terms of your own future."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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