Sarah Wallace, Head of Services at the Charity Crossroads Care CNL, talks about their Homeshare programme and how it is a scheme that helps older people keep their independence and remain in the home they love.
I like to think that as I get older, I will be able to keep my independence. But will increasing care costs mean that I’ll just struggle alone at home? Recently, I met Felicity who has recently struggled with ill health, meaning that she has had to consider alternative ways to maintain her independence. In this search, Felicity came across the new Homeshare programme which we run here at the charity Crossroads Care CNL.
The Homeshare scheme uses a ‘matching’ service which helped Felicity find someone to share her house with because her disabilities make it tough for her to live alone. The Homeshare scheme has changed her life and that of her sharer.
Homeshare matches an older person who needs help and support around the home to keep his/her independence, with a younger person looking for affordable housing in London, and who is committed to provide support, companionship and security at night.
Homeshare is an affordable solution for older people that want to remain in the home they love but need extra support at home to keep their independence and feel more protected by having someone to stay overnight with them.
With rents sky-rocketing in London in recent years, Homeshare is proving increasingly popular, even with those from professional backgrounds and graduate students.
Felicity, the Householder, was matched with Bongi, a Social Worker, who now has reduced her monthly outgoings by three quarters, and Bongi has committed to help Felicity for at least ten hours per week in exchange.
A sensible plan
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 it difficult to do and a bit of company in the evenings. Bongi helps me with the cooking and some light housework and is great company.”
But what does Bongi, the homesharer, think of the scheme? “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 over a month to bond and decide to continue with the programme. It is important to get into it with your eyes and heart open. It is great programme which works really well, 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 think that the scheme works very well for her. “I believe that Homeshare really does solve two of society’s current issues, those who need support and those who struggle with high rent in London. It is an ideal and affordable live-in support plan which works well for anyone needing that little bit of extra support, or companionship and those looking for accommodation in London. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement with both parties making a positive contribution.”