It’s not surprising that the majority of seniors prefer to age in place and maintain their independence. However, even if that’s possible with today’s technology, it can be quite lonely, especially if the person lives alone and isn’t capable of going out. That’s where home sharing comes in. Although it seems like something only young adults straight out of college would do, the truth is that more and more seniors are considering this option. Home sharing is an excellent way to remain independent while at the same time living with a companion – but what is it all about exactly?
Senior Home Sharing Explained
Senior home sharing isn’t as simple as going to a real estate agency and renting out your vacant room. First, home sharing programs focus on older people and those with low income due to disability, unemployment, or any other factors. Secondly, home sharing services match people who would make a good fit for living together and run comprehensive background checks on both the host and guest.
Benefits of Senior Home Sharing
There are various benefits when it comes to home sharing, which is why so many seniors are embracing these types of programs.
Independence With Peace of Mind
While you can use a medical alert system to age in place at ease, nothing beats having someone there to help you in case an emergency occurs. However, this usually means having a family member or a caregiver watching you 24/7, which is not ideal for seniors wanting to stay independent. By sharing your own place, you’ll get a roommate who will have their own life, but still be there when needed. Not only that, but they’ll also be an excellent companion who you’ll be able to spend time with daily.
Another advantage of sharing your home is getting an additional monthly income that will help you cover your fixed expenses. Meanwhile, guests are able to live in a decent house and pay more affordable rent. This extra money each month can make a difference to many, who can even start saving for recreational activities, such as traveling.
The same way young people share household chores when they live together, senior roommates can also do the same. While an extra person in the household does create more work, their help more than compensates for that. There are even hosts who reduce the rent price in exchange for household services.
Cons of Senior Home Sharing
The cons of senior home sharing are the same as sharing your place with anyone else. Humans are complex beings, and this means that the host and guest might not get along as well as expected. There are different standards of cleanliness, lifestyles, etc., but this can be solved by writing up a good contract beforehand.
Legal Factors of Home Sharing
Like when you rent a room through a real estate agency, a contract between the host and the guest needs to be made. Thankfully, if you do this through one of the many home sharing organizations in the U.S., they will help you write an agreement. The contract should always include the amount to be paid each month by the guest, any essential daily routine rules, the number of days needed to notify the termination of the agreement, and so on.
How to Apply for Home Sharing
Regardless of whether you want to be a host or a guest, the application process is the same. There are various home sharing organizations throughout the country – some of them work nationwide while others operate on a more local level. So, do a quick search to see which ones are closer to you. Most organizations are non-profit and have the same goal: helping seniors find the perfect roommate. Despite this, they do have different approaches. Some of them focus on only seniors, while others try to match seniors with young people. It’s important to make sure you find one aligned to your needs. After that, you just need to apply online.
Sharing a Medical Alert Service Together
If you are a senior sharing a house with another older adult, then it’s the perfect time to consider getting a medical alert service, especially because you can share it and split the cost. There are even medical alert systems that allow you to add a second person to the contract for free, like One Call Alert. This way, both of you will be protected 24/7, and if an emergency occurs, you have a direct helpline that will call for assistance right away and stay on the line until help arrives.
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