I’ll get by with a little help from my home share companion
With 49.5 % of Covid deaths happening in a nursing home setting Covid-19 presented a situation never encountered before in our health services. Along with a large number of nursing home staff becoming unavailable due to having to self-isolate, a huge strain has been placed upon our nursing homes. These challenging issues will not be solved overnight, and it may be a good few months before nursing homes are functioning normally again. 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, is proving to be an alternative and effective solution for protecting our elderly at this time.
Saoirse Sheridan, the Founder of Elder Home Share and a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee, is cocooning in Monkstown with her very bright 90-year-old house mate. ‘I get to see first-hand as a home share companion to Eileen (90) how this solution is giving her a valuable level of support at this time and how it may be a good solution going forward, it’s definitely not an alternative to what a nursing home has to offer but it can extend time at home which currently may be a real priority’.
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. ‘Last month, I really focused on liaising with our matches to come up with the best way to navigate this unexpected crisis – which ideally is for the home owner and home share companion to cocoon at home. This is not always possible, but a good few of the matches were able to do just this. Likewise, 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 is not all doom and gloom, currently we are focused on supporting our matches and keeping communication lines open. Recently a home share companion who is working from home prepared a picnic in the garden for her housemate as a treat. I love hearing touching stories like this and there are plenty of them. At a time like this Elder Home Share may be able to serve our elderly with a support solution while our valuable nursing homes find their way through this difficult time.
For up to date informatio visit: Gov.ie (Coronavirus) and HSE.ie (Coronavirus)
if you are considering how to protect an elderly loved one and would like to have a companion to support their independence in their own home please reach out to learn more: www.elderhomeshare.ie
Click Here to Hear Fiona's Story of Finding a match for her mum