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Dementia and poor mobility are driving the demand for homesharing

It ca seem like an older relative who is finding living independently a little harder than it used is stuck for choices. They are a long way from needing a care home, or even a visiting carer. But they can’t get the tricky jobs done so easily – cleaning, cooking, perhaps even shopping. So does it fall to family and friends to step in, or is there another way?

The Homeshare Association, an alliance of Homeshare providers, is a firm advocate of matching older people who need a little light help with younger people who are willing to exchange support for accommodation.

Homeshare isn’t really for those who need a level of nursing or personal support. It’s more of a hands-off arrangement that fits alongside support services provided by local authorities, the NHS, and private organisations. That does mean that while the arrangement may work well on a day-to-day basis, there are times when the homeowner will need more support – if they have just been discharged from hospital after a major operation for example.

Which householders can benefit?

According to the Homeshare Association’s recent report, primary drivers for seeking a homeshare arrangement include poor mobility, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, social isolation, deteriorating eyesight, deafness, bereavement, falls risk, bipolar disorder, heart/lung risk, and memory issues.

The Association says that 100% of older people in a homeshare arrangement report a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. Once in place, a homesharing arrangement may even help to avoid a crisis that requires more support.

Is homeshare a long-term arrangement?

Young people will eventually want to move on, and older people may find their support needs change. So it’s useful to know that the median length of a homeshare match is between 9 – 15 months, with the longest current match in its 10th year.  The average age of a sharer is 39, but the age of sharers cited in the report range from 22 to 70, so it’s more about the person, what they need and what they have to offer, than their age.

Find out more

You can read the Homeshare Report 2023 and find out more on the Homeshare Association website.

As with any service, it’s important to be confident that all parties are being treated fairly and that there is no room for exploitation.

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