Keeping our elderly parent or loved one independent and at home for as long as possible is something our clients strive to do. With an extra few hours of professional care over the course of the week and the support of having an Elder Home Share companion living in the house, it seems to be working well and a solution that is both holistic and cost saving.
Is Elder Home Share a short term solution or a long-term solution for continuing to live at home with a greater degree of security and independence? From our experience and reviewing data from the UK, the average length of a home share is anywhere from 3 months to 3 years with a healthy average at about a year and a half.
So, what exactly does a home share companion bring to the table that extends time and independence at home for the elderly. The simple fact that there is someone coming and going each day is a positive reassurance to the homeowner and their family. The friendship and build up between the elderly homeowner and the home share companion brings a new dimension and support to both sides. I was in a chocolate shop a few days ago picking up a box of chocolates for the lady I live with. She is a self-confessed chocoholic. I could not resist sharing some with the nice chap behind the counter. These chocolates were for my house mate who will be 90 at the end of the month. When she was in secondary school up on Stephens Green, she used to come into town from Clontarf and she would call into every newsagent on O’Connell Street and Grafton street asking for a bar of chocolate until she got one. The sharing of these stories over the kitchen table bring a comradeship and ease to both the homeowner and the home share companion. Spending time together, the warmth and security of having someone around, builds wellbeing and confidence in one’s ability to manage themselves and their home. A younger person who can change a light bulb, put out the bins or pick up some milk in the shop when you are feeling poorly, all helps to buffer out a situation which could otherwise be quite isolating and a little bleak.
Take Kay, for example, who had a home share companion in her home for two years and David, who I lived with and is now 99 living in a nursing home. Both Kay and David in their 90’s were able to extend time at home with this support and when the time finally came for a new layer of support the transition was timely.
If your concerned about an elderly loved one living alone and want to find out more please reach out to us www.elderhomeshare.ie