senior friends playing cards on the table

Key Takeaways

  • Homeshare arrangements refer to two or more unrelated parties residing in the same home in a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Homesharing is ideal for seniors who are unable to live alone but don’t want to live in a senior-assistance home.
  • Senior homeshares can offer great psychological, social, and financial benefits.
  • It’s essential for homeowners and renters to communicate their needs, standards, and rules before living together.
  • Some websites to find homeshare opportunities are the National Shared Housing Resource Center, Silvernest, and the Golden Girls Network.

Homesharing refers to two or more unrelated parties residing in the same home in a mutually beneficial agreement. This practice usually benefits both the homeowner and the renter. Many seniors opt for homeshares, as they get to decrease their rent payments and have a daily companion. Many times this living arrangement is ideal for widowers or seniors who cannot live alone and do not want to live in a senior-assistance home. For the renter, homeshares are typically a low-cost living option and they have a roommate they can meet prior to renting.

Outlying Problems

Senior homeshares differ greatly from nursing or retirement homes in regards to the benefits they provide. Homesharing arrangements can provide psychological stimulation, financial help, and social benefits for everyone involved. With a chosen roommate, seniors have a companion that can help them and provide a lasting friendship. In comparison to a retirement home, seniors may not get the same sense of companionship because they’re likely to encounter a variety of nurses who don’t get the chance to develop a one-on-one relationship with them. A few of the benefits of homeshares in comparison to retirement homes are listed below.

Psychological

Consistent human interaction can stimulate cognitive function in seniors, in turn providing psychological benefits. Having a roommate to talk to, debate with, and do activities with helps stimulate the mind of a senior. This would be much hard for a senior living alone. Since it is just the roommate and older adult living together, they will form a closer bond than many seniors who interact with each other sporadically, such as in a retirement home.

Economical

One of the main factors that push seniors towards homeshares is the financial benefit. For retirement homes, there is typically a hefty cost to pay for rent. However, with a homeshare, seniors reduce their own financial burden by charging their roommate a portion of the rent. Not only do seniors get to stay in the comfort of their home, but they’re able to pay less for the same comfort. Homeowners and renters should agree upon rent prices prior to cohabitating.

Social

Having a roommate whether they are an adult or an older adult can provide many benefits to the homeowner. On one hand, they may have an extra set of helping hands around the home. They can help clean, maintain the house, and assist a senior incapable of certain activities. Additionally, they can offer peace of mind to a senior’s loved ones. Their family can have comfort knowing they’re not alone at home and have someone to rely on in the case of an emergency.

What to Expect From a Homeshare Arrangement

Every senior homeshare arrangement is different. The size of the home, number of roommates, and cost all depend on the homeowner. However, with a majority of homeshares, privacy is still a priority and roommates can typically expect to have their own room and at times their own bathrooms as well. The cost of homeshares are also regularly lower than most other rents but the exact amount is an agreement between the homeowner and renter.

Although there are many benefits to homesharing, there are also some problems that can arise. One of these problems can be differing standards between the homeowner and the renter. These standards can range from chores, privacy, space, and even cost. It is crucial to discuss these standards prior to committing to a homeshare in order to establish ground rules and avoid future problems.

Where Can I Find More Information About Senior Homeshares?

Finding a homeshare can be difficult because they’re not typical renting options and can be hard to find online. Below are a few websites that are designed to help older adults find the perfect homeshare option for them. Additionally, these websites are easily accessible for all users, including older adults. To decide whether a homeshare is suitable for you, consider all the pros and cons and visit the following websites for more information.

Matching Services

  • Silvernest – Silvernest is a website specifically made to match seniors to other seniors for homeshares. This website targets baby boomers or empty nesters that are looking to open their home as a homeshare or to rent. If you want to post your home, there is a fee of $29.99 for 3 months of unlimited communication to renters. If you are a renter, this service is free.
  • Golden Girls Network – The Golden Girls Network is another website that is specifically made for older adults, typically between the ages of 50 – 70 years old. This website does not personally match you with compatible roommates, but they provide a database of like-minded individuals looking for a homeshare. To use this service, there is a $39 fee for six months of access.
  • Roommates 4 Boomers – This free option is perfect for women who feel comfortable only living with other women. Roommates 4 Boomers is a women-only and senior-only (50+ years) matching service for homeshares. This website matches women based on their lifestyle, interests, and backgrounds to find the perfect companion.

Informational Resources

  • National Shared Housing Resource Center – The National Shared Housing Resource Center is a free source to not only list your home or find a homeshare, but to also learn more about how homesharing works. This free service offers programs based in your area whether you are a homeowner or renter. Although this is not a matching service, you can find specific matching services in your area through this website.
  • Senior Resource – This website is not a matching service for homeshare roommates but it has a free directory with listings based on your location. The listings are senior-specific and some come with reviews and further information about the home. However, some listings do not list all necessary details and require further research.
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