For who is Homeshare?

Homeshare is a very flexible concept. It can meet many needs and be adapted to different countries, cultures and circumstances. Homesharing is already benefiting:

  • elderly people
  • disabled people
  • single parents
  • people who need additional income
  • younger people, including students
  • the community as a whole

For elderly people

Many older people live alone. They may find that family and friends are too far away to give the help, companionship and security they need. Some may find it a struggle to maintain their independence at home, yet do not want to move into alternative accommodation such as a care home. Even if they can survive alone, they may want a better quality of life in their own homes. Perhaps they need some additional income; perhaps they just want someone to share their lives.

The needs of elderly people vary, but some of the most common include:

  • help with household tasks such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, gardening, and caring for pets
  • companionship and friendship
  • non-medical personal care – for those who are more dependent. Only Homesharer who show evidence of professional link with home care industry or previous elder caring experience should be suitable for providing this service.
  • security – for example having someone in the house at night
  • an additional source of income

    Homeshare protects the autonomy of elderly people. It builds self-esteem by reminding older people how much they have to give. And, given that most homesharers are younger people, it develops respect, empathy, and understanding between the generations.

For younger people

Younger people, with limited funds, often move to a new city, or country, to study or find work. Homesharing can offer:

  • companionship, especially if they have no family or friends in their new home area.
  • low cost and secure accommodation.
  • help to learn or practice a new language, and understand a different culture, if they have moved to a new country
  • Many younger people who take part in homeshare programmes have a particular empathy with older people. And who can put a value on the wisdom and experience of life imparted by an older person.
  • Sometimes, student homesharers receive accommodation and, if they are caring for a dependent elderly person more than 12 hours/week, a small payment.

For single parents

For single parents, homesharing can provide help with expenses, childcare, and the security of having another adult in the home. A growing number of shared housing programmes in the United States are helping single parents find homesharers.

For people who need additional income

Homesharing can support people whose over-riding need is extra income. Older people receive little financial support in some countries where homeshare operates. In countries where pensions are low, some householders may still need additional income and the rent from a spare room can help.

For disabled people 

Disabled people are increasingly living independent lives but many still welcome help in the home or the security of a live-in companion. Homesharing can support physically or mentally disabled people, either as a stand-alone service or as part of a package of care.

For communities

Homeshare is a simple idea with enormous potential to respond many of today's social trends such as:

  • the ageing population and the growth of one-person households
  • the geographical dispersion of family units
  • the rising numbers of younger people in higher education
  • the growing prevalence of younger people studying and working in a foreign country
  • the rise in the proportion of disabled people living in the community
  • the rising numbers of single parent families

Because each Homeshare match is unique and personal to those involved, there are often hidden benefits where both parties gain much more than they expected. 

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