Senior homeshare match-up programs bring together older home providers with individuals seeking a place to live. In exchange for providing a private room in their home, seniors receive household assistance or rent from their housemate, or a combination of the two. Participating senior home providers can either own their own home or rent a home from someone else. Though the arrangement is not right for everyone, homesharing meets the needs of many seniors and their housemates.
Before you consider homesharing for yourself or an elderly parent, find out what homesharing offers participants, how match-up programs work, and how to improve your chances of finding a compatible housemate.
Homesharing can be a good choice for roommates of any age, but there are benefits for seniors that make the arrangement particularly attractive, including:
Those looking for rooms to rent participate in homeshare programs for a variety of reasons. Many of them have free time but not a lot of money. This could be because they are students, work only part-time, have recently retired and now live on a fixed income, or any number of other reasons. Some people in such situations appreciate the opportunity to serve as a live-in caregiver in exchange for free or reduced-cost room and board. Others live far from family and appreciate the companionship and security they get from having senior roommates.
The homeshare match-up process consists of a number of steps that take participants from application to move-in. These steps typically include:
While all homeshare programs bring together prospective home providers and home seekers, the extent of staff involvement in the process can vary from agency to agency. For example, some check references, while others leave it to the participants to do that. And some help negotiate the homeshare agreement, while others simply provide participants with guidelines and a form.
Some homeshare program coordinators make themselves available after the match is finalized, to mediate disputes that may arise between housemates. The homeshare match-up program you choose may request a nominal fee.
The written homeshare agreement is very important. It spells out all obligations, such as rent amount and due date, and hours and types of services to be provided. It also lists any restrictions, such as what hours guests are welcome, and whether smoking or pets are allowed. Every agreement is different because every pair of housemates has different needs.
Every senior homesharing agreement should also spell out how much notice a participant should give before withdrawing from the program (30 days is typical). And it should spell out acceptable reasons for terminating the homeshare immediately -- nonpayment of rent or failure to perform services as agreed, for example.
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