The last few weeks for all of us have been unlike any other with a whole new set of scary problems to navigate and manage with the Covid-19 virus. If you have an elderly loved one living alone it adds another set of concerns. Elder Home Share, a service which connects families with an elderly loved one living alone with people seeking accommodation who provide companionship and support in exchange for a place to live, has been in operations since 2016. ‘Right now, I am focused on liaising with our matches to come up with the best way to navigate and come though the months ahead – which ideally is for the home owner and home share companion to cocoon at home. This is not always possible, but families are buckling down and doing their very best to comply with government suggestions to reduce risk.’
Saoirse Sheridan, the Founder of Elder Home Share, came up with the idea a few years ago when she was given notice to move out of her rented accommodation, ‘with the current crisis our matches are relying on each other more than ever’. A Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee, she is cocooned away in Monkstown with her very bright 90-year-old house mate. ‘I am grateful to be a home share companion myself to my housemate. Gone are her bridge games, my trips to cafes and the gym, family visits and her super daily help. Are we adjusting? Yes, and you would be surprised how quickly when it's for the right reason’. We both watched Leo Varadkar along with the rest of the country on Saint Patrick’s Day.
I would encourage everyone to act swiftly with decision making if you have not done so already when it comes to protecting an elderly loved one. it could unfortunately be a life or death decision and there really is no time to waste. A tough conversation I encouraged our users to have as I did myself is what is the plan if someone in the house starts to have symptoms. As our home owners are in their 80’s and 90’s it’s important to know what to do if this was to happen so as not to be overwhelmed and uncertain about what the plan of action is going to be.
It’s not all doom and gloom, currently we are focused on supporting our matches and keeping communication lines open. Last week a home share companion who is working from home prepared a picnic in the garden for her housemate on Mother’s Day. I love hearing touching stories like this and there are plenty of them.
To find out more about Elder Home Share visit www.elderhomeshare.ie
For up to date information on the Coronavirus visit: Gov.ie (Coronavirus) and HSE.ie (Coronavirus)