Personally, I believe seniors should stay in their own homes as long as they can. There are many instances when a senior loses their significant other and finds themselves on their own in a big house.
There are the same bills to pay, the same home upkeep to maintain, and everything else that goes along with being a homeowner. It can be very expensive, but most of all, it can be very lonely.
Low-cost senior living is a possibility and doesn’t necessarily mean moving into some sort of assisted living or some other retirement home option.
If at all possible, I truly believe a senior is far better off physically, emotionally, and mentally if they stay in the family home that has been such a big part of their lives. This is actually called aging in place.
But how does a senior do this?
A SENIOR CAN SHARE THEIR HOME
This option is quite popular in many European countries. If seniors are on their own in a big house, yet are willing and able to embrace a senior life of fitness and good health, they often find themselves, like-minded seniors, to move in with them.
Most homes have three or four bedrooms, so why not have another senior move in and help with things like paying bills, cooking meals, and doing basic home cleaning.
This can be a great option if a senior take care of finding the right person to share their home with. Why should a senior who is perfectly able to care for themselves move into a retirement setting when they have a perfectly good home? All give you a great example.
I was doing a book-signing at a local Chapters featuring my book Seniors On The Move. I had a long talk with a senior woman about this very topic. She was in her mid-seventies and very sharp both mentally and physically. Who knows, she could very well live a vibrant life until she was 90 or 95 with today’s advances in medical science.
SENIORS SHOULD BE AWARE-THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS
She told me what happened to her and it was a very sad story. A few years back her husband had passed away and she was living on her own. In those few years on her own, she began to get lonely in the big house, with voices and memories of the past playing on her mind.
It seemed to her that her only choice was to sell the house she had lived in for decades with her kids and departed husband. Her kids had their own lives to live and would visit on occasion, but for the most part she was alone.
She decided to sell her home and move into a retirement setting where she had her own apartment. She was very upset when telling me what transpired over the first few months at the home.
Her thinking was that she would have all kinds of instant friends to go for walks with and do all sorts of physical activities with. In most cases, there are many seniors in independent living facilities who are active, but I guess it all depends on which one it is.
She was dismayed to find that once many seniors entered the home, they would purchase walkers and canes and slow everything down. In a nutshell, they bought into the idea of being old and decided these were the things that old people do when they shuffle off to retirement settings.
The lady said with great sadness that most of the other seniors would sit in front of the TV until breakfast, and then lunch, and then dinner, and after dinner before bed.
It was very difficult to find anyone to do anything with her. She realized very quickly that she had made a mistake. She might just as well of kept her home. But it was gone. She said it was the biggest mistake of her life.
FIND LIKE-MINDED SENIORS TO LIVE WITH
That conversation still bothers me. I feel bad for her. Seniors deserve to have the absolute best golden years of their life possible. They have given so much of their lives to family, their community, and careers, they deserve no less than the best.
This is an excellent article that deals with The Danger of Seniors Living Alone.
I began to research seniors living on their own and stumbled on the alternative seniors are exploring in other countries. If they live alone and have a big home to maintain, with tons of space not being used, they search out other like-minded seniors to share their home with.
It makes perfect sense. Sure, you have to be sure the seniors you share your home with are like yourself. Mentally sharp, fairly healthy, and have a desire to stay fit and active.
Just look at all the advantages this affords once you find the perfect person, or persons to share your home.
YOU ARE NO LONGER ALONE
Of course, you are no longer lonely. But there are many other advantages of sharing your home.
- Share the financial burden of maintaining the home.
- Enjoy meals together
- Share the cost of food
- Share the housework
- Be there for each other in case of emergency
- Workout together. At home or at fitness facilities
- Share transportation. All you need is a car.
- Enjoy special nights like cards or movies
- Save a lot of money
There are many, many more benefits. For instance, the fact that you are not alone will be far easier on any children you might have. They know you are no longer alone and will not constantly feel guilty about you all alone in a big empty house. It’s a win, win scenario for everyone.
Retirement settings are very expensive. Yourself and any seniors who choose to live with you will save a lot of money.
The more I think about this concept, the more I like it.
POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES OF HOME SHARING
Great care has to be taken when choosing other seniors to share your home with. For example, if a senior is in the early stages of dementia they might not be an ideal choice. In the end, you could end up being a caregiver, and that isn’t the ultimate goal.
There are plenty of seniors out there who want to stay healthy and fit and enjoy their golden years, you just have to find them.
It’s important that you trust the person as they will have access to your home and everything in it. It would be best to involve your family and family members of the perspective house-mate in the proposal of sharing your accommodation.
This ensures that everyone is aware of what is going on. In other words, there should be an extensive interview before committing to anything.
It might be wise to have a trial period of 30 or 60 days to see how things work out. At that point, the senior owning the home can decide if it’s a good fit for all parties concerned.
THE PERFECT SCENARIO
What would be a perfect scenario is to have a senior friend or friends you have known for years to share your home with you. Almost everyone has friends they grew up with who would make excellent housemates.
As long as they are in good health and have a desire to continue to live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle, they will most probably be a perfect choice.
Whatever you decide, always keep in mind that there are other alternatives besides moving into a retirement home out of loneliness even though you are perfectly capable of living on your own. If at all possible, aging in place is the best way to go.
Sharing your home with like-minded seniors is an excellent option when it comes to low-cost senior living.
In the event you do decide to move and sell your home, check this post out if you have a need for Legal Documents
Feel free to comment on this post below. Perhaps you or a senior sharing your home or perhaps know a senior who is.