Finding a Roommate for Mom or Dad

pexels-photo-339620.jpegI have several clients living alone and would love to have a local option to match them with a roommate. We have many colleges in the area and know there must be some students who might want more economic options for room and board.

We did it several years ago when we hired a college student to help with our kids. She helped with rides and basic meal preparation. I would love to start a resource bank to do the same thing in our area for seniors who want to stay at home, but need a little help to make it comfortable. Students interested in degrees in Speech & Hearing, Medical, or Social Work would likely be good matches.

Most of my clients just need help getting groceries, with basic home maintenance, and food preparation. Having someone young in the home would offer socialization for the home owner, and be a positive connection for the college student.

While there are now some online matching services, most of my clients would never go online to look for a roommate. Several of my clients are also in early stages of cognitive impairment. In talking to my clients and their families, they want and need a personalized experience to match them with students. I also believe it’s important to have someone involved to provide monthly over-site and mediation should there be any concerns.

For the spouses, would having an extra pair of hands be a welcomed help in your home?

I’d love to get your feedback. What would be important? What is fair in terms of compensation? Do you have anything like it in your area?

Some current providers I’m aware of include:

  • SilverNest
  • Golden Girls

Do any of you have a loved one with dementia who has a roommate? I would love to talk to you to find out what worked and hope to make this work for others. Interested. 

To read about some others who have found success with this model (but don’t have an cognitive issues): Check out the recent article from The New York TimesGetting a Roommate in Your Golden Years


6 thoughts on “Finding a Roommate for Mom or Dad

  1. I have often wondered about a Student ideally someone who is considering going into the caring industry. Our new Sun Room could be used as a bedsit for the right person.

  2. This is exactly what I want for my mom! We lost my dad late 2016. My folks clearly needed some help in those months leading up to it, but even mentioning it was refused – until the emergencies starting happening. Just prior to losing dad, I was able to get Mom into an independent living situation with assisted living “just down the hall” if needed. Mom would still love to be at home – she is not happy. While her meals are provided and there might be one activit she liked – and I am handling financial matters – she is lonely. I visit her everyday and sometimes take her to their house & other excursions if she is up to it. Ideally what I’m looking for is a trustworthy younger person/relative who could live with her for free room or board. I really need someone with her over night for my peace of mind and hers. Then, between myself or, if necessary, a private duty assistant to help her get around, go to community events, etc., during the day. Mom refuses to see a pcp – she claims she is healthy (she is being treated for depression by geriatric psychiatrist) – although there is definitely some mild/mid cognitive decline. She is bored, lonely and needs some younger companionship in a familiar setting.

    Bottom line, I doubt if I will ever find the ideal setting for her before it’s too late….but clearly there is a big wide open gap in Care and companionship for the elderly. From what I’ve seen over the past couple of years – there is NO adequate setup that provides care, companionship and safety. At this stage in my life, with a junior in high school in competitive sports all summer, looking for colleges and a husband in a stressful job – with no other family near – it’s a tough place to be in. Hope there are better solutions to come for us baby boomers sake!

  3. I too am looking for a roommate for my mom. She is 88 and has dementia. We got lucky with my dad who died in 2001. Obviously, we don’t want to let just anybody in the house but how to find someone trustworthy, competent, and kind is a huge problem. She loves her home and her doctor has told us to expect rapid decline when she has to leave it. Thank-you Kay. I am going to look into the *SilverNest and *Golden Girls that you mentioned

Leave a Reply