If you're a senior or retiree living on your own, shared housing could be the ideal option to explore! By sharing a home with fellow community members, you can alleviate financial burdens, enjoy companionship, and focus on living life to the fullest. Discover the benefits of shared housing and how it can enhance your retirement experience.
Why choose shared housing?
A 65-year-old divorcee finds herself embarking on a new chapter of life. After decades of living with a partner, she takes the courageous step of living on her own, seeking solace and independence. Little did she know that this decision would lead to a beautiful connection and the birth of an incredible friendship.
Through their shared connection at their church, she decides to open her home to a fellow acquaintance who is navigating a similar path. Both women, in their twilight years and experiencing newfound freedom, decide to rent a room together. Splitting the rent and household responsibilities, they not only alleviate financial burdens but also create an environment of shared support and companionship.
What began as a practical arrangement soon blossomed into something extraordinary. As they tackle household chores side by side, they find solace in each other's company and a deep understanding of their unique situations. Their shared experiences of starting afresh, rediscovering independence, and overcoming obstacles become the building blocks of an unbreakable bond.
What about shared housing with a younger generation?
John can no longer drive and often forgets to take his evening medication. However, he doesn't want to give up his independent lifestyle and is unable to afford home care services. That's when he discovers the perfect solution – a home share program.
John reaches out to the program and is thrilled to be paired with Sarah, a college senior seeking affordable housing. In exchange for a free bedroom, Sarah is more than willing to provide everyday assistance to John. From reminding him to take his medication to running errands and offering companionship, Sarah becomes a valuable support system in John's life.
If these two stories didn't already convince you, then you'll want to read what comes next. Here's everything you need to know about shared housing for seniors.
Shared housing is when two or more people share a living space for mutual benefit. There's usually a “head-tenant,” the owner or renter of a property, and a “sub-tenant,” who moves in after agreeing to terms and conditions, which often includes rent and housework.
The terms of each home share agreement are unique! Terms depend on personal needs, preferences, and financial situations. While no two circumstances are exactly the same, shared housing is largely just people helping people.
Shared housing for seniors offers a vibrant and supportive living option that embraces companionship, affordability, and a sense of community. It's an arrangement where seniors come together to share a living space, creating a unique and fulfilling lifestyle. Here are some key benefits of home sharing:
Once you’ve decided that shared housing is for you, explore your options!
During your search, keep in mind compatibility and safety. Seek out people with similar interests, lifestyles, and values to ensure a harmonious living environment. Also, include a loved one in your search so that someone close to you is always aware of what you're doing, who you're talking with, and where you are.
Here are some common ways to find shared housing opportunities:
After you find a potential candidate (or two, or three…) it’s a good idea to set up an interview and home visit - after all, you wouldn’t want to share space with someone whose personality isn't for you. This is also the time to discuss expectations for each party. Many seniors find it helpful and safer to conduct background and credit checks. Services like TenantReports.com can assist easily at a minimal cost.
Once you’ve found your ideal housemate, the final step is to draft a home-share agreement. This should be a written document that states all duties and responsibilities of each individual. It can be as brief or detailed as you like. But, a typical agreement will include rent and utility payments, household duties, guest and pet policies, kitchen use and food sharing, internet use, and privacy.
Shared housing agreements are flexible and customizable to meet the unique needs and preferences of each person. When drawing up your agreement, consider the following factors:
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