41394769 - a large group of people in the shape of a small house.

There is more than one answer to the question of do I continue to live alone in my house or go to a standard retirement community. Everyone knows of the golden girls concept.  You have a big house and empty rooms and you bring in compatible ladies to share the expenses and hopefully the good times. TV land sometimes imitated reality, one would hope. That website is still live and well at:  http://goldengirlsnetwork.com/

Looking at census bureau and other statistics it presents an interesting mix of facts.  According to Pew Research, 32% of woman and 18% of men over the age of 65 live alone.  The number of women who live alone has actually decreased because men are living longer. In 2014 only 11% of people over 85 years old were living in nursing homes!

Want to share?  As a general resource I would like to highlight the website of a non profit, the  National Share Housing Resource Center, http://nationalsharedhousing.org/ . It has a system for matching older individuals who want to share their homes.  I do not know how involved the matching up process i , it may be similar to picking college roommates with  questions about staying up late and neatness?  There are stringent background checks. Read the success stories, they tell the tale.

Having a roommate or to utilize a new catch phrase, a boomer-mate can solve a preponderance of challenges both financial and social.  Such an arrangement can  add years to your independence and your life  because of  not being isolated. As I have written before, meshing older personalities can be tricky, as we are who we are and have become.  Hopefully when it works, it can work very well.

To turn to another  innovation coming from the young for the old I would also like to  recognize a concept that began in South Florida.  It is called https://room2care.com/ .  It main purpose is to allow younger individuals to rent out rooms to seniors but it also allows you as a senior to find a younger housemate to move in that spare room and help with the chores  or even specifically as a caregiver. 

Proceed with caution as there is limited information and this is a for profit company. I will try to investigate this further for future blogs.  It may afford another opportunity to share what you have to gain something in return. Europe has already embraced the let the students live with the old folks concept.

The need for affordable housing is always going to be very real for everyone young and old.  Finding a housemate or house helper may be  another light at the end of the tunnel. You need to be judicious in checking them out but they may mean keeping your independence with a touch of interdependence. Again if it works for you, it is well worth the search.