Home Share Companion FAQ
What is a home share companion?
A home share companion is a responsible, kind, and mature person who is willing to provide companionship and support in exchange for an affordable place to live.
What are my responsibilities while living with the homeowner?
This differs from case to case and is determined when we create the Home Share Agreement. Light housework, spending time together, and small errands are the typical responsibilities in an arrangement. Sleeping in the house at night is key providing a secure presence in the house at night is the primary reason families reach out to us. Companions commit to sleeping in the house 6 nights a week with occasional weekends away and holidays of course being part of the arrangement.
Why should I become a home share companion?
Home share companions are provided with comfortable and affordable housing, in exchange for providing companionship and support to the elderly person that they live with. If you like the quite life and the company of older people, this could be for you. It’s also a great way to save on the cost of regular accommodation and reduces financial stress.
If you want to make a difference in an older person’s life by providing companionship and practice support for an average of 8 hours each week no more than 10 this could be for you.
Do you place people with children or who are married, have pets?
Elder Home Share places single people we do not get requests for couples and have not been successful in placing a person with a pet such as a dog or a cat. From a legal perspective we are not able to provide placements for children.
How do I become a home share companion?
- Sign up with our online application
- Wait for Elder Home Share to contact you about potential home sharing opportunities
- Respond to home share opportunities that you are interested in
- Elder Home Share will share your profile with the homeowner’s family
- If the family would like to meet with you, we share your contact details with the family
- Meet with the homeowner’s family member in a public place to discuss the home share and see if it is a good fit for both sides
- If you are selected and are happy to home share, then you must send references to Elder Home Share for a reference check - we call all the references as part of this check
- After this, a home share agreement is created outlining your responsibilities and is signed
- Move in and start home sharing!
Can I bring friends over to the homeowner’s house?
Some homeowners are happy for a home share companions to have a guest over for tea or dinner once a week. However, generally socialising should be done outside of the home. But having a guest once a week can be negotiated with the homeowner and should also be run my the next of kin when starting out to ensure the home owner and family are comfortable with guests visiting the house.
If I’m in a relationship, can I spend some nights out of the house?
Sleeping out of the house one night every week is in the Elder Home Share agreement.
Can someone stay over with me in the homeowner’s house?
Having people stay over is not part of the Elder Home Share arrangement however from experience families have been open to a family member such a parent traveling from abroad to visit the companion to stay in the house for a reasonable about of time such as a week. If you’re in a relationship having your partner stay over would be outside the scope of the Elder Home Share agreement.
Can I go on holidays when I am living in the home owners house?
Going on holidays is completely acceptable, but you need to give notice to the homeowner so that they can plan around your time away. Likewise, a weekend away once a month to visit your family or take a trip is totally ok too.
How much notice do I need to give when moving out?
Typically, a one-month notice is advised.
How much notice can I expect to be given?
Likewise, a one-month notice is normal, but if the home share companion is violating the home share agreement, the contract can be terminated sooner.
What should I do if the home owner becomes sick?
It is not your responsibility to care for the homeowner, letting the next of kin know or reaching out directly to medical services in an emergency is advised.
What ID do I need to provide for vetting?
Elder Home Share will need the following, which is in line with Garda Vetting policy.
- 3 written references on formal company paper from professional bodies for example employer, university, place you volunteer - we will follow up with a call to each reference
- Copy of your passport or drivers’ licence
- Proof of address - bank statement, letter from employer confirming current address is required (Garda vetting)
Is there a test period to see if the living arrangement will work?
Yes, it’s a good idea to test the living arrangement with a one month ‘live in’ test.
What if I move in and I am worried about something?
Talking directly with the next of kin about your concerns regarding the Elder Home Share would be the first thing to do. Elder Home Share provides on going customer support for the duration of the Elder Home Share match so if you need to reach out for a chat on the phone, we are here to provide support.
What if the home owner goes into a nursing home what happens to me?
Its normal for the situation to change with the home owner most of our clients on the senior side are in their 80’s and 90’s. Elder Home Share has been successful in re matching Elder Home Share companions who have been in a home share and can provide a positive reference from the family. We can not guarantee a rematch but your chances of finding a second match if your time with the first family has gone well are much greater.
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.
What it's not?
Elder Home Share is not a care service for seniors - it is not designed to replace the role of a carer. It does suggest there is value for older home owners who live alone and would like someone else in the house for security and company. It can be a positive solution and meet specific needs of senior and elderly people living alone.
Likewise, for the accommodation seeker, it is not a regular rental situation where you have the freedom to behave as you would if renting in standard accommodation. There are certain restrictions and expectations that go with home sharing as a home share companion through Elder Home Share, however, your personal space, privacy and independence are still your own.