SENIOR LIVING – CHERIE HENRYEach week, Americans of all ages tuned in to watch sensational, witty and compassionate episodes of the 80’s Golden Girls sitcom. Those ladies lived their senior years under the same roof, helping, caring and engaging each other and their viewers. Fast forward 30 years and shared senior home care and retirement home services are making a resurgence in our society.

There are numerous benefits to shared housing and several agencies are recognizing and promoting them to their clients. An agency can be of invaluable assistance as they vet the potential roommates and homeowners to ensure a good fit and safety to both parties through an application process.

Still not sure if shared housing and senior living is right for you? Consider the following:

Affordability – shared costs within the household can assist a homeowner to retain and continue to maintain their home with financial and perhaps physical assets of their tenant.

There’s nothing fuzzy about this math: a homeowner decides they need a new lawnmower.  They purchase and use the mower on a weekly basis, their next door neighbor does the same, as does every neighbor on the street. Not a very cost effective solution.

However, down the street our “Shared Home” of three adults each contribute toward the purchase of mower and they rotate the responsibility of mowing weekly. This household has saved Time, Money, reduced their Expenses and lessened their consumption.

Summed up, the benefits include increased income, reduced food costs, utility cost reduction and reduction in maintenance costs.

Safety First – Someone living alone is vulnerable in so many ways – if you have someone else living in the same space, they are aware if you have come or gone or if your scheduled appearance at home has not happened.  What if you fall?  Living alone can mean many hours where no one knows you’re in trouble.  At times, it may be days before anyone misses you.

A shared living environment greatly improved this woman’s quality of life, she was unable to support living on her own due to a variety of life circumstances on the income she brings in.  Though she was fortunate to find found a solution without an agency she is now renting a room in someone’s home.  This arrangement gives the homeowner additional income to support her home, allowing her to remain in her home, afford the maintenance costs, assistance with housekeeping and other household tasks and give them both companionship and a safety net regarding the fact that someone knows when each of them is expected home and if there were an accident of some sort, either in the home or elsewhere.

WHO Shares Housing:

Empty-nesters, Baby-boomers, Women in particular, divorced parents, Students.

At a conference the other day, I had a gentleman ask if I knew of anyway to obtain a “roommate”.  I am guessing he was around 60 years.  He was either divorced or widowed, children had all left home and his home was large with a large yard and he was looking for a way to supplement the costs of being able to continue to live in his home and care for it.  Either that or he would need to sell it, downsizing to a smaller space which he really was not ready to do.  I was able to direct him to a local resource in Portland, OR.

There are several websites discussing Shared Housing and Shared Communities

Give it a thought, it could be a Golden opportunity!

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