3 ways seniors sharing home will rock the retirement world

3 Reasons why seniors sharing their home will rock the retirement world

As the cost of retirement homes continue to soar, many seniors have to begin looking for alternative arrangements. With yearly costs reaching toward the $100,000 mark, retirement homes are beyond the reach of many seniors. It’s time for seniors to think outside of the box.

Say, for example, a senior woman loses her spouse and she is left alone in the house. For many, this can be a very lonely and heart-breaking experience. The answer it seems is to sell the home she shared with her husband and move into a retirement home.

The problem is, the prices are so high that retirement savings would most likely vanish in a few years. This article by CNBC discusses just how desperate the situation has become. So what is a senior to do? Just maybe there is an alternative. Here are 4 reasons why seniors sharing their home will rock the retirement world.

THE LONELINESS WILL VANISH

Many seniors can delay the move into a retirement home for many years if they decide to share their home with another senior or seniors in the same position.

Say for example the senior who owns the home is very active and fit. Her goal would be to search out seniors who are like-minded. Most homes have at least three bedrooms.If a senior is all alone, why not make use of them?

Not only does sharing a home eliminate being lonely, but it also provides companionship for exercising, long walks, or any other form of fitness that fits the bill. There will always be a companion for evenings out for a movie or dinner.

It would mean never being alone for special holidays.

3 Reasons why seniors sharing their home will rock the retirement world

Grocery shopping and cooking meals together would be a lot more fun than doing it alone. They could watch TV together or play cards or board games.

For that matter, they can go on vacation together. What better way to go on a cruise. Most cruise ships will match you up with a stranger if you are traveling solo. The alternative is to pay twice the price for your own cabin. There you go, being lonely again.

This is an excellent video about Home Sharing For Seniors

SHARE THE COSTS

Even if a house has no mortgage left, there are many expenses left to pay. Almost anywhere you live in North America, residential taxes seem to rise on a yearly basis.

The cost of utilities is also rising with gas and electricity prices on the upswing. Then there is the cost of maintaining a home. Many seniors have to pay to have their yards taken care of. There could be exterior painting, roofing, or plumbing issues to take care of.

Grocery prices are on the rise as well. What a difference if the cost is shared. Just think of the disposable income that would remain if a senior is not paying $3000-$5000 a month for a private room? Now consider if three seniors lived together? They could live a very good life by sharing financial responsibility.

At the same time, they could be putting money away in the event the day comes when they do have to settle on a retirement community or assisted living option of some sort. However, the longer they can be in a home sharing situation, the less time they will be spending in a retirement home.

SECURITY

The world can be a scary place for a senior living alone. Having a housemate will offer a sense of security. Often seniors are easy targets for scammers and two or three head are better than one if faced with online or telephone scams.

If someone notices a senior living alone, there could be potential for a break and enter. This is less likely to happen if there are two or more seniors sharing as home. Even something as innocent as going for a walk is safer for a senior who is not alone.

3 Reasons why seniors sharing their home will rock the retirement world
There are many things that can scare a senior if they live on their own.

Things happen in everyday life that most adults can take in stride, but seniors can find it pretty scary. Things like rainstorms, snowstorms, or electrical blackouts are a few examples.

Severe winter storms and flooding are increasing around the world with the shifting weather patterns caused by global warming. In the event of an emergency situation, it would make a big difference if a senior is not all alone.

MEDICAL EMERGENCY

Any number of medical emergencies can happen at any time when it comes to seniors.

Slipping and falling in the bathtub probably injures more seniors than almost anything else. It’s shocking when you read the stats. According to the National Institute on Aging(NIA), It’s expected that of three seniors over 65, one will fall each year.

Prevent falls by having a bathtub slip-free mat.

What is more revealing is that 80% of those falls don’t happen outside, they happen in the bathtub. So what happens if a senior falls in the tub and they live alone?

According to the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention over 1.5 million seniors end up in emergency for fall-related injuries. The most common are fractures and head injuries. If a senior breaks a hip, it’s even more serious. There is a 25% chance that they may die within a year. At the very least they could lose their independence.

If a senior is not alone, just the fact that action is taken quickly can have a huge impact on the outcome of a fall. In reality, it could save their life if they have someone sharing their home.

Iamfine is an excellent safeguard for keeping close tabs of seniors who live on their own.

ROCKING THE RETIREMENT WORLD

One can only hope that more and more seniors decide to make a go of it by opening their home to other seniors who are facing huge fees to live in a retirement community.

Maybe if enough seniors delay their entrance into a retirement setting by staying in their own home longer, the incredibly high prices of retirement communities will come down.

seniors shareing homes will rock the retirement world
Seniors who share meals will often experience better nutrition

It seems to make perfect sense for seniors of like genders to share a home, but of course, potential house-mates would have to be carefully vetted. For instance, if the senior home-owner is in good health and practices best nutrition and fitness routines on a regular basis, they would want to find someone with the same outlook on life.

It would defeat the purpose, for example, to have a senior in the early stage of dementia move in. As things escalate, the senior owning the home could become a caregiver, and that sort of defeats the purpose.

The seniors, along with their direct family, should all meet and discuss the situation before any decision is made. That way everyone is well aware of what’s going on and can help in the decision-making.

For instance, common sense dictates that there should be a trial period to ensure that the individuals are compatible. With the understanding that if things don’t work out there’s not much point in carrying on with the arrangement.

If that occurs, both seniors can seek out others who are looking to share a home and have no hard feelings.

If you would like to share your thoughts on this topic feel free to make a comment at the bottom of this page.

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Ray:

    My wife and I have owned and operated a senior newspaper for almost 20 years so I am very aware of the senior housing industry.

    However, I don’t hear a lot about home sharing. It’s a fact that most seniors don’t live in retirement communities and many don’t move to them until there’s some kind of crisis. For someone who’s healthy and doesn’t need extra care, the home share idea is a good one for all the reasons that you mention. I think of all the points you mention, the two most important are security and companionship. 

    Thanks for your post and promoting this living option!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Christopher! As prices continue to escalate, I feel that seniors will have to resort to something other than retirement communities. In Canada, about 12% of seniors are very close to the poverty line. So how in the name of all that’s holy are they supposed to afford a retirement home?

      This was written in 2017.

      According to Statistics Canada, 12.5% of Canadian seniors now live in poverty and, between 2014 and 2015, 75,000 more seniors became low income.

      This was written in 2018.

      CPJ released Poverty Trends 2018, our annual report on poverty in
      Canada, a day ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of
      Poverty. It reports that a staggering 5.8 million people in Canada (or
      16.8%) live in poverty.

      This doesn’t bode well for the future.

      Thanks again for your comment. I pushed the comment button too soon. The images are going in now.

  2. As someone close to retirement I really find this concept intriguing.  As you point out, there could be some fish hooks with compatibility so the vetting would be crucial.  The loneliness thing seems to me to be the biggest problem.  Looking at my mum – now approaching 90 – as she has become less independent and mobile her ability to see and meet up with her friends is quite diminished.  Having an inbuilt group seems like a good thing.  I suppose we’d all like to think we can move into one of those swanky retirement villages but the costs are pretty horrendous so this seems like a good option.  Is it  something you’re doing yourself, or going to?

    1. Hi Mike! Thank you for your comment.  Currently, I live alone in a condo and have done so for 35 years. I’m 70 but blessed that I can swim, lift weights, or go on a two hour run along the river path. That’s thanks to over 30 years as an endurance athlete. I could never afford the prices they are asking, so I suppose when the day comes I will have to find something similar to what I wrote about. I think its a great concept if you find someone who is compatible. I would rather help someone pay their household expenses than pay it to some retirement home. I truly believe the retirement landscape will change if prices keep increasing the way they are. There will have to be alternative arrangements made for many seniors, and I hope what I just wrote about will be one of them.

  3. This is what I like to call a common sense article, and something I honestly haven’t given much thought to, as my situation is a lucky one.  I live with my two sons, my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter.  We all have our own rooms, we share the rent and household expenses, and many times we cook together.  It is far less expensive than if I lived alone (and a lot less lonely).  I have, however, given thought to the idea that I don’t really know how I would do it if I had to do it on my own, and this article gives me food for thought.  It also offers me ideas for some friends I have who do live alone, and they struggle.  They may want to read this and give some thought to possibly having someone use one of their spare rooms.  This would help them so much with their bills, and offer them friendship and companionship that they sorely need.  Thank you for this.  I think you do a great service to seniors out there with this great idea.

    1. Hi Babsie!  Thank you so much for your review. Being 70 myself and living alone, I feel blessed that I am in good health and can lift weights, swim, bike, or go for a two-hour run.  I have also lived alone for 35 years so I have no problem with it. The day will come I suppose when I will have to do something. I think I would look for the situation I just wrote about for myself. I don’t have any idea how people can afford up to $100,000 a year for a room in a retirement community. Please God, let me die on the running path by the river. I can only hope.

      Thanks again… By the way, I clicked the comment button too soon. The images will be up momentarily.

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