Homeowner/Family FAQ

We are considering a home share companion what do I need to know?


Home share companions provide security in the home, especially at night, can help with light house work, and spend quality time with the homeowner. If you elderly loved one is feeling nervous in the house by themselves, has recently had a fall or been bereaved having an Elder Home Share companion in the home will add a buffer of new support both from their presence in the home and from the formation of a new and positive relationship. The simple fact of having someone there who can raise the alarm in an emergency and spot issues has proven to be of real value to our past and current clients.

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Will the home share companion help in the home and how?


Yes, there is a needs assessment which you will find on the online registration form, each family can give a preference for what they are looking for from an Elder Home Share companion. The home share companion is not there to carry out lots of work or replace the role of a professional carer. Generally, companions would be responsible for light housework, running errands, and spending time with the homeowner, this practice help, and companionship can reduce the need for professional care but is not designed to replace it. From experience the companionship and support of the companion adds a new layer of support and interaction in the home giving both the homeowner and their family a new peace of mind.




How do I know that the companion will be a good fit?


Elder Home Share works to find you the best possible match by giving you a list of different companion profiles to choose from. You select which companions you would like to meet with and talk to in person to ensure that they will be a good fit. After this, Elder Home Share reference checks whichever companion you choose and sends the feedback notes to you from the conversation with the people providing the references. Garda vetting can be carried out as well. Instinctively when meeting a potential match, you will get a good sense of how you feel about the person its good to trust your instincts and ask lots of questions get a good idea of their day to day routine. Our process outlines that you have an initial chat on the phone if this goes well progressing to a face to face meeting in a public place such as a café is the next step.




Do home share companions pay rent?


Home share companions do not pay rent. They are there to provide security and companionship in exchange for a safe and comfortable place to live. Our robust Elder Home Share agreement which has been reviewed by A & L Goodbody solicitors is designed to be protective of all parties.




Do home share companions have qualifications to care for the elderly?


Home share companions are not professional carers and are not required to carry out caring duties. However, if the homeowner is sick, they will contact the homeowner’s family or doctor, provide practice support such as picking up errands in the shop if the home owner is unable to do so and needs a little extra support.




Is there a test period to make sure that it is a good match?


We suggest a test period of one month so you can both decide if the living arrangement is working. Elder Home Share will check in with you with a call at the end of week one and again at the end of the first month to see how everything is going, you are always welcome to pick up the phone or email Elder Home Share if there is anything you want to discuss need advice on.




What do I need to provide to find a home share match?


Family's looking for a home share companion for an elderly love one need to provide the following documents.

  1. A letter of recommendation from a doctor or community health nurse.
    1. This ensures that the home owner has the temperament and current level of health to benefit from a home share companion being in the home.
  2. A Utility bill with proof of address and the homeowner’s name
    1. This confirms the homeowner’s address
  3. Authority of notice a document which gives the next of kin permission to work on behalf of the home owner to source a match.




What do I do if my companion is not following the Home Share Agreement?


If you have any concerns about the behaviour of the home share companion and are not able to resolve it by talking with them directly, you can call Elder Home Share who will provide guidance to solve the issue. We provide on going customer service for the duration of the Elder Home Share match.




How does the background check process work for the home share companions?


All home share companions go through a reference checking process. Elder Home Share receives references and follows up on the references through phone calls. Additionally, Garda vetting can be carried out at the request of the family of the homeowner. We provide the family with the note from the call’s we make to the people providing the references.




Do all home share companions have Garda Vetting?


Garda vetting is available at the request of the family of the homeowner.




If a companion is from another country, are they vetted in that country?


They are not; Garda vetting only covers their activities in Ireland. But they are still reference checked by Elder Home Share.




When did you start doing matches?


Elder Home Share facilitated its first match in January 2016 and has been working with families ever since. Most of our home owners are in there 80’s and 90’s and a match would have a duration of anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. The general length seems to be about 18 months. Most of our home owners have a level of dementia so this is not an issue for us when working with families.




What kind of support do you offer and is it safe?


Elder Home Share prides it’s self on providing prompt follow up to customer questions via email or on the telephone. For the duration of the match we are available to provide advice on issues that may arise. The reference check carried out by Elder Home Share gives insight into the character of the person who will be moving in. We send our feedback notes to you to read and with this you can make a final decision on if the match can move in. Elder Home Share companions tend to be female working professionals aged between 24 and 44 from every corner of the world.




What if my elderly loved on goes into a nursing home?


If the home owner’s needs change and they are at a stage where full time care is needed, and an Elder Home Share match is no longer the appropriate solution, families will give the companion a minimum of one months’ notice so they can find alternative accommodation. Elder Home Share has often been successful in finding a new match for the companion but can not guarantee this. It’s not uncommon for a companion to be given between 6 weeks to 2 months to find a new place to live by the family but as outlined in the Elder Home Share agreement it’s a notice period of one month.




What happens if the companions are not the right fit or moves out and we still need a match?


If the companion is not the right fit or they themselves need to move on because of a change in their own circumstances Elder Home Share will source you a new match this is of course is if it is the right solution and the home owners needs have not changed that professional care is the correct solution.




What is your Privacy Policy GDPR practice?


Please click though on the link provided to review our privacy policy

Saoirse Sheridan who came up with the idea for Elder Home Share when she was given notice to move out of her rented accommodation in 2015, home shared with David 98 from April 2016 to April 2018. She is now in her second home share match and continues to have a friendship and visit David in his nursing home, most recently to celebrate his 100th Birthday on the 18th of January 2020.

If you would like to talk directly with Saoirse now to learn more about Elder Home Share, please call 087 13 85 628.





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