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The concept of "homesharing" is growing a lot! I wonder if people have used or thought about it. The idea is an older adult would rent a room to a person who could help out (errands, yard care, cleaning, cooking, etc) in turn for a lower rent. Seems to save both parties a lot of money! Wondering if anyone has done this.

How well this works depends a lot on the status of the "older adult" and the external support available. As health fails, the elderly become venerable even if there is no dementia. When dementia is a factor, as statistics tell us it will be in nearly half of adults over 85, it becomes an even bigger issue. At the very least, there should be a legally binding contract listing the renter's duties and including a clause where the renter gives up any "inheritance" or "gifting" privileges as well as some external person/organization to keep an eye on things.

I live in a college town with both a public university and a private religious college.

After my uncle died, my childless aunt rented 4 second floor rooms to college students while she lived on the first floor. She lived a few houses down from a fraternity house and got her "referrals" from there. This worked very well when she was in her 60s and 70s, still relatively healthy and active. In her 80s when her health began to fail, a couple of these students decided to take advantage of her - interfere with her renting the other rooms, stopped paying rent, had parties in the non-occupied rooms and then started stealing some of her collectibles from the downstairs rooms. The "students" were very surprised when my father (her nephew by marriage) and I showed up to kick them out and change all the locks. We arranged through the religious college (which had good contacts across area churches) for a couple of impoverished widows in their 50s to move into the upstairs rooms and help our aunt in return for room and board and a small stipend. My aunt was never bedridden as she aged and having the older women to around cook and clean and provide some companionship worked well. By the time my aunt died in her 90s, both of her companions were old enough to draw SS and my aunt left them each about $10,000 in her will (equally split her cash savings) to help them move out and resettle.

The religious college and its graduate school has a history of sending good candidates for rental rooms and small houses to private individuals. I'm not sure if that's because people who are getting a private education (most with scholarship assistance) are less likely to take advantage or because they know the school will be checking up on them to see how the arrangement is working. Maybe kids coming from families where a religious college education is valued also have better values and are less likely to take advantage.
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lburns731 Oct 11, 2018
Thats so nice to hear there are supports out there at the local level. I'd be worried if things went wrong though how would they get help or out of the situation if it wasn't done through an organization or company?
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IDK, I guess I am having a hard time getting past all the potential problems that I think are inherent in this kind of arrangement - for the tenant the thin line between helping out and actually caregiving, for the older adult the risk of opening your home to someone who is not what they seemed to be, and the potential difficulties for either side to extricate themselves from the situation if it isn't working out.
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lburns731 Oct 11, 2018
Yeah, I could understand that. One of the websites that promotes homesharing has protections with their membership. Theres like legal assistance, rental agreement stuff and customer service support. That helps make it safer for all parties involved, I think..
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I've heard about this being successful with students at the local University - particularly with well-brought-up conservative Asian girls who are good cooks! There is also the advantage that overseas students are going home at the end of their degree. A live-in older adult can get very close to the elderly person, and this can result in a radical change in estate inheritance. A relatively short relationship just before competence is lost, can overshadow a lifetime of family relationships, and this can be difficult to accept.
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lburns731 Oct 11, 2018
Thats very specific!
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having trouble with postings!
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