The cost of senior housing, healthcare, and longer life spans are all contributing to seniors needing to be more creative and think outside of the box in terms of their living arrangements! A shared housing situation can be beneficial for several reasons:
1. A home environment is always ideal if possible from a health and cognitive standpoint!
2. Living alone is never advised! The amount of seniors living alone and experiencing loneliness and resulting depression is on the rise.
3. Seniors are living longer and need to maximize their funds and resources for when and if care is needed.
4. Many seniors do not have the opportunity to attend as many outings and activities as they used to. Some seniors do not want to venture out alone or do not feel comfortable attending events and programs. Having friends living with you provides daily support and socialization opportunities. It also helps many seniors to try new things when they have a buddy to try them together!
5. Sharing the costs equally for home related items can help those rooming together to maximize funds! Meals for three are often times easier to produce than meals for one, etc. A cleaning service cost can be split and resources can be maximized.
6. It is also easier to share in chores and home related tasks when they are spread out. People can continue to feel purpose and not need to rely upon others to do tasks as much when shared!
7. Finally, there are clearly psychological, emotional, spiritual, and physical health benefits that come from home sharing and the companionship, socialization, and personal relationship aspects!
As wonderful as this all sounds, there are also some items to strongly consider before safely moving forward:
First, you need to determine some house rules in terms of guests, shared expenses, pets, home responsibilities, what you consider financial stability, and more. Be clear in determining these rules and limits. Be true to yourself and ensure that you have all items of importance addressed when doing this list.
Second, use this list to take the lead in forming questions to ask potential roommates. For example:
1. What do you value most in life?
2. How would you describe your ideal roommate?
3. What are your living habits? Clean, messy, organized?
4. What would your friends and references say about you?
5. What is your biggest weakness and strength?
6. Do you consider yourself financially responsible and stable?
7. What chores do you like to do?
8. Are you social or a home body?
9. What really bothers you? What are your pet peeves?
10. Do they have a living will, advanced directive, and power of attorney? Have they planned for the future?
These are examples of many questions that can be asked depending upon your focus!
Finally, ensure that you check into the potential roommate online. Search on social media such as facebook to friend them. Ask if they will provide at least two references and be open to a background check.
Do your homework well, set the boundaries and groundwork before moving forward and you will have a successful outcome!