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Roommates in Retirement: How Homesharing Helps Seniors

If you’ve ever watched an episode of “The Golden Girls,” you’ll know having roommates isn’t just for college students. In fact, these days that sitcom situation is very much a reality. More seniors than ever are opening their homes to roommates in a trend that’s quickly growing in popularity.

Homesharing offers all kinds of benefits. The most obvious perk of having a roommate is that it’s an ideal way to reduce costs while getting some extra help to maintain the home. Paying bills and housekeeping is always easier when those responsibilities are split with another person. That’s a big plus for anyone concerned about their financial security.

But beyond sharing expenses and upkeep, there’s an even bigger reward to be gained with a roommate: connection. Why does that matter so much?

A number of seniors are empty nesters, and some may have even lost their spouses. They don’t want to overly rely on their children, yet they’re not ready to leave behind the home where they’ve created so many memories. They want to remain independent.

However, living in a big house alone can lead to social isolation. A roommate can keep that from happening. Opening the door to a roommate can bring company, camaraderie, and a wider social circle. It’s an opportunity for new experiences as well as simply someone to share your day with.

Plus, a roommate doesn’t have to be someone of the same age. Lots of seniors enjoy having young tenants in their home, helping them get settled in a new city or as they begin a new career and need to save money. And there are lessons each generation can teach the other.

Thinking about getting a roommate? There are a number of services that work specifically with seniors to help them find the right roommate fit, such as Nesterly and Silvernest. It does help to work with an agency that can screen applicants and ensure quality roommate matches.

It's human nature to want to be around and learn about others. And at an age when maintaining social connections is even more important, sharing a home with a roommate can do wonders for the spirit.

While you probably won’t end up with your own TV show like Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, and Rose did, having a roommate allows you to enjoy all the same benefits—companionship, laughter, a helping hand, and a memorable friendship.


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