I am confident that homesharing works because I’ve seen first-hand how rewarding and mutually beneficial it can be when a young adult shares the home of an older person. My first experience of homesharing was in the 1980s, when my lovely grandpa had a student from Madeira living in his London home for the last 6 years of his life. My nana had died a few months before and Isabel was 19 when she came to live with Grandpa, an arrangement set up through family friends.

A student who was unfamiliar with the city, Isabel wanted to live in a nice, safe place with a kind person. It was a wonderful match. She would do the food shopping after college, keep the house tidy and cook a simple evening meal for them. Grandpa kept her entertained with conversation and provided her with a free room. Her English was limited to begin with, but she persevered and they would often discuss Grandpa’s life history as well as topical news events, his love of opera and hers of modern music. He really helped improve her English and they would often watch TV together in the evenings or do puzzles together. After a couple of years she was doing cryptic crosswords!

Isabel learnt to drive and Grandpa bought her a small car which she used to take him everywhere he needed. She was genuinely fond of him and they struck up a real and lasting friendship. There is no question that her presence in his home over all those years benefited everyone involved, including my parents. My father says “For us the reassurance that he was not alone was the best thing, the fact that we could worry a little less and could even go away on holiday knowing Grandpa was in safe hands. It really took years off him having Isabel around and his last years would have been very different without her”.

Isabel and Grandpa’s story really inspired me to set up Home Share Living, a service that matches Homeowners with Sharers in the same harmonious and mutually beneficial way.  If you’re curious to find out more please give us a call at 020 3137 6421 (Mon-Fri 9-5.30pm). We will be happy to answer your questions and find you the perfect homeshare match.