Aging In Place

6/15/2022 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Home sharing for seniors offers an affordable senior housing option for older adults interested in aging in place while realizing some of the benefits of retirement communities.

“The high cost of retirement communities and long waits for subsidized housing have some seniors feeling anxious,” reports National Public Radio. Rodney Harrell, housing analyst with AARP, says that by the 2030s, there will be more Americans over age 65 than under 18, and senior housing options aren’t growing quickly enough to meet the need.

On the other hand, NPR reports, developers and local governments have recognized the needs of aging consumers. Beth Mace, chief economist at the National Investment Center for Seniors, Housing and Care, notes that some states have adjusted zoning laws to enable accessory dwellings, like in-law apartments and tiny homes. In addition, homeowners can rent out an extra bedroom, say, to a younger person who can help around the house.

Home sharing may take us back to our youth, when we trimmed costs by living with roommates. Today’s home sharing can connect seniors who are looking for a place to live with people who are looking for someone to share their home. Or vice versa – seniors can share their homes with others: family members, other seniors, roommates, or friends, in a Golden Girl-type arrangement.

The arrangement is beneficial for both parties: both get a more affordable living arrangement as well as companionship, security, and partnership in household chores. And for an older adult interested in aging in place, a home share can keep them in their preferred residence for longer.

Specific Benefits of Home Sharing for Seniors

Two women at home in the kitchen preparing dinner together - photo by Monkey Business Images, Dreamstime. Home sharing for seniors offers an affordable senior housing option for aging in place with some of the benefits of retirement communities.

Home sharing can provide a host of benefits to seniors and their families. It can be a solution for seniors who have difficulty living on their own, and it can be a way for them to achieve their goal of aging in place, remaining in their own cherished home.

Seniors who live with family members are less likely to need long-term care or nursing home care. This is because they get the help they need from family members, which frees up resources that could otherwise be spent on medical care. Home sharing also reduces the burden on caregivers who may otherwise have to provide around-the-clock assistance at the senior’s home.

Benefits include:

  • Offers an affordable housing option for senior citizens
  • Saves money and time on safe transportation
  • Provides a network of like-minded individuals
  • Gives freedom to age in place without worrying about moving or living alone
  • Helps with the loneliness and isolation that comes with aging
  • Offers the chance to split the costs of aging-in-place services, such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and in-home care

How to Find the Best Home Share for Seniors

While there are many perks to home sharing, it can be difficult to find a suitable roommate. There are many risks involved with living with strangers, so it’s important for seniors to take precautions when finding someone new.

The senior homeowner who wants to find a roommate can use the following tips:

  • Find someone who has a similar lifestyle, interests, and values.
  • Check if they have any criminal convictions or past history of violence or substance abuse.
  • Ask for references from previous landlords and employers.
  • Set up a contract with your potential roommate outlining expectations before signing anything official.

The sharing economy is an emerging trend that has been steadily gaining traction in the last decade. Home sharing for seniors is an example of this trend, enabling seniors to age in place or move to a new, more affordable home with additional benefits.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.