Home sharing is being touted as a decades-old solution that is meeting a rising need among today’s senior population: affordable living.
While meeting companionship and home maintenance needs but without offering medical care, home sharing is rising in some areas as an alternative to traditional assisted living and independent living communities designed for the aging population.
The organization, Senior Home Sharing, has been around for three decades, and currently owns four area homes that each house a small group of senior residents—in one house they range in age from 64 to 98 years old—along with a live-in house manager.
The residents are self sufficient, but are in search of company, the Tribune explains, presenting a new solution for a growing problem.
“People are getting older in communities that were never really meant for older people,” Kathleen Cagney, an associate professor of sociology and health studies at the University of Chicago told the Tribune. “Anything that is innovative from a design standpoint would be most welcome.”
The organization is funded through foundation grants, private donations and government money as well as the residents, who pay rent ranging from $1,090 to $1,900 for a private bedroom and shared bathrooms, kitchen and common areas.
“As more and more seniors are with us, many of whom are outliving their resources, we will need to find new ways to offer housing choices,” said Wendell Gustafson, the organization’s executive director. “We’re trying to fill a niche between your typical independent living place and the assisted living kind of situation.”
Seniors remain in the home share as long as they are able; on average 3.5 years, the Tribune reports.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker
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