The National Careline Blog
Tackling loneliness- could Homeshare be an option for you?
20 February 2023
On our helpline we take many calls from concerned relatives who find that their loved ones are finding it difficult to cope with loneliness following the loss of their partner and in many cases are then going on to make relationships with people who do not have their best interests at heart. Loneliness is a real problem and, with many people spending days without seeing or speaking to a soul, the Homeshare UK programme could be a step forward for some.
Loneliness and older people
With more than 4 million people in the UK living alone many of us, or our loved ones, may experience loneliness. According to Age UK more than a million older people say they go over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
As people get older, life does change and events like leaving the workplace, poor health, becoming a widow or children moving away to start families are some factors that can mean social connections are reduced or even lost.
Whatever the reason it can leave people feeling vulnerable and have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing despite them having lived an interesting and fulfilled life.
What is Homeshare?
At Homeshare UK we seek to reduce loneliness and social isolation through matching local people who are currently living alone with someone looking for affordable housing in their area; building companionship with mutual benefit.
Homeshare appeals typically (but not exclusively) to an older person living in their own home, with a room to spare who is carefully matched with a younger person who will provide an agreed amount of support and companionship in exchange for good quality and affordable accommodation.
The support provided to the older person typically includes daily living tasks such as cleaning, shopping, gardening, an overnight presence and most importantly companionship. The sharer does not provide personal care or take on the role as a ‘carer’, although a Homeshare arrangement can sit alongside a care support package.
For the Homesharer there are also clear benefits with the cost of living at an all-time high. Being able to share good quality, affordable accommodation with a trusted companion can improve their lifestyle and wellbeing too. Increasingly younger people are also affected by loneliness through moving to new areas for study or work, post-
So, there are mutual benefits to all involved.
Both participants pay fees to the Homeshare UK provider to support the matching process and ongoing support; these fees are significantly lower than the cost of other housing or at-home support options in the local area. All Homeshare UK providers conduct robust safeguarding checks (including references, property, financial and DBS checks) and carefully match participants.
Homeshare Coordinators support the match from the start providing support, regular monitoring and dealing with any concerns which arise. This ongoing involvement brings peace of mind to both participants, and their loved one’s.
Although not the answer for everyone, for many people living alone, the Homeshare solution means that people can stay in the home and the community they love. It also brings their family the reassurance that their relatives have secure accommodation and companionship, whilst also benefitting a younger person.
“It has been amazing to see Mum’s mood and energy levels rise from introducing her to Sian. She thrives on having company and interaction and without it she can become quite down and unmotivated. Living further away from her can make it difficult to fulfil that need. Our Homeshare Coordinator Mel has taken great care in matching Mum with a sharer ensuring that all safeguarding checks are completed and we are over the moon to see Mum so delighted. “
Daughter of a Householder aged 88 years old matched through Homeshare UK Merseyside.
“I’m a student living in a House of Multiple Occupancy. I’ve been living there for over a year now and I’m missing having someone to come home to at the end of the day and share a meal with. It can be really lonely in a new place so why not share it with someone else who would value the company too”
19 year old Homesharer matched through Homeshare UK Merseyside.
Finding Out More About Homeshare UK
There are 25 Homeshare UK network members delivering programmes across the UK.
If you think Homeshare is right for you, you can check if there is a provider in your local area by going to our find a Homeshare provider map. Or you can call our Homeshare UK team on 0151 227 3499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org