After a challenging time at the start of the UK lockdown, Homeshare services across the UK have reported an increase of older people looking for live in company and low-level support to combat isolation and lack of human contact.Read the 2020 report here
Key messages from the report include:
- 96% of Householders report feeling less lonely
- 96% of Householders felt that having a Homesharer has helped them a great deal through lockdown
- Over 1,000 people now benefitting from Homeshare (2021)
- Growing numbers of people in their 50s and 60s looking for affordable, sociable accommodation.
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus and Homeshare UK says “At the beginning of lockdown, many arrangements ended as students returned to their family homes and new arrangements stalled as families became worried about the risk of COVID-19 to their older relative.
But six months on and we have seen demand for Homeshare grow as people fear living by themselves for as long as this lockdown continues.
Homeshare providers have quickly adapted their matching processes and risk assessments so that living together is enjoyable and safe for everyone. Many of Homeshare UK members are reporting that growing numbers of older and vulnerable householders have now been vaccinated and can take up Homeshare with confidence.
We have also seen an interesting rise in people in their 50s and 60s who want somewhere affordable to live – often because of the housing market in the UK or a change in personal circumstances, such as a job loss or relationship breakdown. They’re used to living with other people and offering their time and companionship in return for somewhere safe and comfortable to live, is very attractive and often leads to longer-term, stable arrangements.”
“Our network members have really gone above and beyond – not only adapting their matching process to make it COVID-19 secure, providing a lifeline in the middle of a global pandemic, but also signposting people to relevant community organisations. Homeshare provides so much more than company and a room – it’s about building connections and re-establishing neighbour and community relationships.”
Joan who was interviewed by the BBC in 2020 talks about her Homeshare with Karolina
For so many older people, life seems to come very much to a halt,” she says. “But [living with Karolina] opens up new areas of conversation every day. For me it’s refreshing, whereas old age could get very stale…There’s a lot of sadness around. I feel so blessed that I’m not in that position.”
Read the 2020 report here