A new generation finds a new way to maintain independence

 These days 60 plus is not what it once was. The over sixties are more active, adventurous and have more of a spring in their step – in many ways they are a new generation – not middle aged, not old aged.  Sarah Wallace, Head of Services at the Charity Crossroads Care CNL, talks about their Homeshare scheme and how this programme is set to revolutionise the lives of many people, both young and old.

In recent years, life has changed significantly for Felicity as health problems have progressed as she has aged, meaning she cannot maintain the lifestyle she was accustomed to without some support. In her search for new ways to maintain her independence, Felicity discovered the Homeshare programme, run by the charity Crossroads Care CNL in London.

The Homeshare scheme uses a ‘matching’ service which helped Felicity find someone to share her house with and provide the live-in support she needed to be independent. 

 Homeshare matches an older person or a person with disabilities who needs help and support around the home, plus the companionship and security of having someone else there at night, with a younger person looking for affordable housing in London. With rents and house prices sky rocketing in recent years, Homeshare is proving increasingly popular with those from many professions as well as graduates, and the average age of a Homesharer is 37. 

The charity runs background and reference checks on all the homesharers, so householders have peace of mind that they will only be introduced to suitable people in the scheme.

Felicity, the Householder, was matched with Bongi, a Social Worker, who was previously spending around £800 a month to rent a single room in London.  Now, Bongi is in a nicer home, her monthly outgoings have reduced by three quarters, and she has committed to help Felicity for at least ten hours per week in exchange. 

Felicity tells us “It works really well for me as it means that I have the security of someone in the house overnight. It also gives my family peace of mind as I have someone to help me with the tasks I find difficult and she is company in the evenings. Bongi helps me with the cooking and some light housework and I enjoy younger company”.

Bongi also views the scheme very positively. “If it is the right match, I think the scheme works really well. It’s about finding the right balance and getting to know the other person, it takes at least a month to bond and to decide on continuing with the programme, it is important to go into it with your eyes and heart open. It is great programme, but it is a commitment at the same time.”

Bongi says that “It really is the perfect arrangement for someone with a calm personality who has a goal to save for future plans “.

Felicity says that her family is very supportive of the programme describing Homeshare as “the ideal solution that helps people to remain in the home they love”.  It is a new way to maintain older people’s independence.

To find out more about the scheme Visit www.crossroadscarecnl.org, email homeshare@crossroadscarecnl.org or call 020 7485 7416