The Pros and Cons of a Senior Home Share


These days there are more senior living options in Florida than you can imagine, and some creative home sharing arrangements are making a surprising comeback.

Perhaps it’s true, everything old is new again. You may remember “The Golden Girls,” a popular sitcom from the 1980s that captured the hearts of many. Not only were the “girls” wildly entertaining, but they also taught us a valuable lesson about the significance of maintaining a social life well into our senior years.

A living arrangement that has been gaining in popularity in recent years, this kind of senior home sharing enjoyed by the Golden Girls presents a unique solution to older adults facing the challenges of inflation and rising costs. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. In fact, what home sharing offers in cost savings, it lacks in perks and peace of mind associated with traditional Florida senior living communities.

In short, if you are considering a senior home share, be sure to read up on the pros and cons of co-housing for seniors before you sign a lease!

What Is A Senior Home Share?

Home sharing may look and feel eerily reminiscent of the co-housing arrangement many of us experienced as a young adult or college roommate. Yet, the uniqueness of a senior home share lies in the shared experience of older adults who have reached a similar stage of life. It’s often viewed as an opportunity to create meaningful connections and form lasting friendships with individuals who understand the challenges and joys that come with aging. In a senior home share, roommates can reminisce about their past experiences while navigating the present together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support that is truly special.

Many older adults are choosing a home share living arrangement primarily to pool resources and responsibilities. Each housemate typically has their own private space, such as a bedroom, while common areas are shared, including the kitchen, living room, and outdoor spaces.

According to Mary Gilbank-Peterson, founder of the National Shared Housing Resource Center, a senior home share allows seniors to age in a home-like setting while providing companionship, support, and cost-sharing opportunities. Seniors maintain their independence while also benefiting from reduced expenses and the emotional support that comes from living with others in a similar stage of life. As an alternative option to senior care homes, home sharing is another way to combat loneliness and social isolation.

Cutting Down Costs and Chores

Home sharing is also good for cutting down on costs and chores. According to an article by AARP, intergenerational home shares often help older adults age in place while removing the burden of home maintenance duties. For example, a homeowner may offer space in their home in exchange for help with household activities like changing the light bulbs or sweeping the floors.

But for those seeking a housemate, it can be difficult to know who you’ll be compatible with. That’s where online roommate matching comes in. Online matching services make finding a housemate easier. Services offered through homesharing platforms Silvernest and Home Match connect those both willing to share a home and those in search of one. It’s a win-win situation for some.

For others, a senior home share may not be enough.

 Home Sharing vs. Senior Living Communities

Like ridesharing or coworking spaces, home sharing can be an effective cost-cutting strategy, but it’s not ideal for aging adults who may need personal care and support. Many older adults will eventually require some level of care and assistance, and an assisted living community is better equipped to meet the evolving long-term care needs of older adults.

Sonata Senior Living assisted living communities are staffed by professional caregivers who are available around the clock to provide assistance with activities of daily living, medication management, and health care monitoring. This type of senior care community is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment where older adults benefit from care and wellness services while still having access to daily social activities and life enrichment programming. It’s like the Golden Girls, but safer.

The Role of Professional Caregivers

While a senior home share can be an appealing option for some, it falls short of the professional caregiving infrastructure that is essential for older adults with personal care needs. Moving to an assisted living community ensures that the necessary care and support are readily available, providing peace of mind for both seniors and their families.

For the ultimate in convenience, communities such as Sonata East at Viera and Sonata Lake Mary offer a continuum of lifestyles on site, welcoming older adults to move in while they are independent and later transition to higher levels of care if and when they need it.

In short, assisted living communities are a better living arrangement for those who need personal care and assistance managing a long-term health condition or disability.

Learn six ways assisted living helps older adults with disabilities.

Home Sharing For Companionship

The hilarious banter between Golden Girls Blanche Devereaux and Rose Nylund underscore the beauty of supporting friends through ups and downs later in life and the health benefits of socialization are well documented in the research. In fact, senior living communities have known about and tapped into the positive aspects of maintaining a social life for decades!

In senior living communities, residents enjoy all the positive aspects of having an active social life, but with added safety and support. By design, senior communities come with a built-in, expansive network of social supports, including friends, neighbors, caregivers, dining, cleaning and maintenance staff, lifestyle directors, and administrators. At Sonata Senior Living, in addition to a full and dedicated staff, a concierge is available to provide assistance whenever it’s needed.

Among the many services, amenities and perks, it’s the social fitness aspect of senior living that is directly correlated to healthy aging, and the reason for the laugh track bestowed by Golden Girl besties.

Choosing a Senior Living Community for Peace of Mind

The 1980s marked a different era, and while senior home sharing may offer companionship and affordability, it can’t compare to the multitude of services and amenities, care and security found in modern senior living communities today.

When it comes to a well-rounded living arrangement, a senior living community ticks all the boxes. Fitness and heart-healthy activities? Check. Senior nutrition? Check. Wellness services? Check. Safety? Double check! Most importantly, a senior living community is the best way to access essential care while improving your social life. It’s why a significant number of older adults in Florida choose the worry-free lifestyle provided by a senior living community like Sonata.

To learn more about personal care support at an assisted living community, schedule a visit
to a Sonata Senior Living community near you.


Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.