When you think of senior house sharing, what comes to mind? If you're anything like us, it's the hit TV comedy The Golden Girls. There's something magical about those four hilarious ladies in their "golden years" bouncing off one another, isn't there? The fact that they shared a home together makes it even more of a (forgive us) gold mine for laughs. That's why we're so excited to hear that senior house sharing is becoming a thing again — this time off the screen.
That's right, senior house sharing is a quickly growing trend. Older women in particular, along with female boomers, are beginning to move in with each other to both save money and start a community. According to the AARP, four million women age 50-plus live in U.S. households with at least two women 50-plus — a statistic that is expected to rise.
What is senior house sharing?
On a very basic level, senior house sharing is simply having at least one senior housemate that lives with you. You can share with one or two fellow seniors with whom you are very close or with whom you feel you're a good match. Or, heck, if you have three great friends that all get along and seem to be good matches with one another, you could even try living out your own version of The Golden Girls. But no matter how many people end up being part of your ideal senior house sharing arrangement, you have the potential to reap many benefits with them.
Why try senior house sharing?
From a practical standpoint, senior house sharing is great in terms of splitting costs. As we all know, a good home does not come cheap. So having a housemate is a no-brainer way to save money in the long run. It's also beneficial if you or your housemate ends up needing assistance or support with specific health issues later. Having an extra pair of helping hands (literally) when you need it can never hurt. But beyond cost-saving and looking out for health and safety, another important benefit is the great potential for an emotional bond. No one likes to feel lonely, especially when they're older and many loved ones have passed on already. Plus: We could all use more friends, right?
How do you start senior house sharing?
If you already have someone in mind that you want to share with, good for you! You've already made it past one of the toughest parts of beginning senior house sharing. Anyone who's ever had a roommate before knows that it can take some time to find a good match. Luckily, there are now a few great websites out there that actually work to set up matches between seniors who want to share. Check out Golden Girls Network, Senior Homeshares, or Silvernest to see if your future housemate is waiting for you there.
Important: It's worth remembering that senior house sharing is not for everyone. Some elderly people have serious health issues or need special assistance that simply could not be fulfilled by that type of arrangement. Also, if you use any senior housing match websites, exercise the same amount of caution you should use on any other website (a lot). Senior Homeshares has great tips for searching for a roommate, including meeting with people in a public place, never giving a stranger your home address, and putting any agreements into writing. Safety always comes first!
h/t Senior Planet