The theme this year is: “Make your Mark” which highlights the unique and lasting contributions that older adults make to their communities. We all know people 55 and older that have had remarkable lives and made valuable input. Maybe they are relatives, friends…or a neighbor. How well do we know our own neighborhood seniors? There could be one or more of these amazing folks living right down the street. And, this person could be very much alone now needing a smiling face, grocery shopping or even a companion.
“Aging in place” is a popular theme for baby boomers. It means finding ways to support older adults to continue living as independently as possible in their own homes and remain a zestful addition to their community. Services like Catalina In-Home Services provide necessary assistance for health care at home, of course. But, they do so much more: shopping, cooking, light housekeeping, transportation, companionship and life enrichment. Even so, some individuals may improve the quality of their lives even more by having a housemate. Have you ever lived with someone other than your family or partner? It may be time to consider that again. Homesharing is a simple concept that refers to sharing your home with one or more persons. Major benefits of home sharing may include:
● lower individual living and housing costs
● promotes personal independence
● offers safe, affordable housing to those who need it
Perhaps you wish to stay in your present home for the rest of your life, but feel it is simply too big, or perhaps you feel lonely or isolated and would enjoy the companionship of a well-matched “home-mate.” Maybe the idea of sharing household responsibilities is worth considering. While there are no age restrictions in the ideal world of this alternative style of living, the concept is especially appealing to empty-nesters and older adults who wish to live in their own homes for as long as possible. Homesharing may include a patient-caregiver relationship. Nationally there are some states who have developed formal strategies. Here in Tucson, a wonderful example of homesharing has been made into a five minute educational and entertaining video by the Pew Foundation: https://www.livingfacts.org/en/media/videos/2019/boommates It is the story of two women who found a way to live together with mutual benefits. Even though one of them does receive nursing services at home, the added safety and quality of life of having a housemate is a real bonus.
Below I’ve listed some resources to help you explore the many forms sharing a home may take.
Shared Housing National Organization https://nationalsharedhousing.org/
PCOA Neighborhood Care Alliance https://www.pcoa.org/ways-we-help/nca.html/
Provides listings in many Tucson Neighborhoods for support in positive aging in place. Offers support to help keep seniors in their homes by training and coordinating neighborhood volunteers who provide free services, including transportation, friendly visits, and access to other resources, allowing older residents to continue to live independently in their own homes and remain a vital part of their community.