As we get older, often we have to consider whether we’re able to keep living at home or not. Sometimes it seems like the only other options are to move to a retirement community or assisted living residence.
Those might not be the only choices though. Like the Golden Girls, perhaps there’s also the option of simply living with roommates.
Living with Roommates
While the concept has been around for ages, shared housing is now becoming a bigger, more common trend. It makes sense, too. Living alone can be prohibitively expensive for many seniors. For others, challenges like feeling isolated or being in poor health prove difficult as well.
It’s difficult for family, friends, and neighbors to always be there as a support system. Plus, almost no one wants to feel like they’re an unnecessary burden. Housemates, on the other hand, can provide support and make housing more affordable, too.
Reaping the Benefits
Obviously, one of the major benefits is financial. When sharing housing costs, utilities, and sometimes even food, bills become drastically lower.
Additionally, with multiple people in the house, you can also share responsibilities like chores and meal prep.
And there are safety benefits as well. Not living alone means having someone there to call for help in an emergency. Overall, you’ll typically find a greater sense of security overall.
Oh, and you’ll also always have a social circle, and – as we’ve mentioned before – companionship is good for your health. Loneliness, studies say, presents some major health risks.
Challenges You May Face
One of the biggest challenges involved is simply finding people to live with. It’s important to take care when selecting potential roommates to ensure a harmonious living situation.
That said, it’s important to recognize what you should and shouldn’t expect from them. You are not enlisting them to be guaranteed friends or to take the place of a lost loved one. They aren’t nurses or caregivers, nor will they be your chauffeur.
It’s important to respect one another’s personal space, opinions, and lifestyle choices. And while you’ve likely lived with roommates before and know this already, it bears reiterating.
It can be challenging at times, but it can also be a fantastic learning experience.
Setting Up Guidelines
To combat certain challenges, there should be certain agreements in place.
First of all, potential roommates should come with references and be able to pass a background check. Proper vetting is important.
You’ll also need to come up with certain house rules and ensure everyone is comfortable with them. Ideally, you’ll find roommates you’re comfortable with, in a social setting, with whom you have some shared interests.
Of course, most people have their own unique skills they can bring to the table, too.
Have you ever thought about living with roommates? Do you already? Tell us what you think of the idea and share your own stories with our other readers. Just scroll down to the comments to be a part of the conversation.