Today, the number of adults over 50 who are living with roommates is growing almost twice as fast as any other age group.Source: SpareRoom.com
While you may have thought that roommates were just for college kids or young adults, a growing number of older adults across the U.S. are looking for someone to live with as they age. According to a recent American Community Survey, over 40 percent of seniors age 55 to 75 years, and 38 percent of seniors age 75 and older live in 3-bedroom houses, which implies there is plenty of room for one more.
When you think about it, roommates for seniors make a lot of sense. Roommates can share expenses, keep an eye out for each other, reduce the risk of loneliness and isolation, and help each other with house maintenance.
AARP agrees citing the current recession, rising health care and housing costs, and longer lives are all great reasons that house sharing among the 50 plus crowd is getting more popular.
How to find the right roommate for older adults
We’ve outlined the many benefits of sharing a home with someone else. However, that’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks to cohabitating, such as a reduction in privacy and potential conflicts over house chores, neatness, cleanliness, and other personality differences.
However, if you get references, conduct a comprehensive interview with the right questions, and be honest about your expectations and shortcomings, you should be able to find a good fit.
6 Things Seniors Should Find Out Before They Take in a Roommate
- Check their references? Who are the people they’ve listed, and what are their opinions of the candidate’s integrity, honesty, communication and cleanliness?
- Find out if they are they financially stable? Do they pass a credit and background check?
- What can you find with an internet search on their name? Do you see any red flags?
- Is this person physically and mentally well enough to live independently?
- List out what are your deal breakers. Are pets okay? Sleepovers?
- Do they meet your expectations of a good roommate? For example, are they considerate, do they share similar values, and do they have respect for others property?