Housemates who need each other

Older housemate with younger person helping to cook -Pictures Peter Kindersley

Apart from the fundamental house share exchange of needs, where one person needs a home and another has space in their property, there are so many housemate combinations that can make sense. You just have to find the right match.

Here are some sharing combinations ot think about – update the sharing preferences on your listing and explain what you would like or consider. If you have a room to offer, but are not sure who might be interested, read on … there are lots of combinations that really make sense.

Older Woman And Grandchild
  1. Parent with child sharing with an older single lady.

    The older person might offer help with baby-sitting, after school care, school drop-off and pick-up, help making the evening meal.

    The younger person with a child might provide vibrancy and a more interesting life in the home, become someone to talk to a little each day, offer help making meals, or help with shopping or with transport on occassions.

    If you would be happy to offer this sort of support, add it to your listing sharing preferences.

  2. Parent with child sharing with another parent

    Two single parents, each with one or more children, might create a more cost-effective child-friendly home, whilst maintaining some of their own privacy.

    Two women together can empathise about the challenge of bringing up children alone (a male parent can of course do the same, albeit from a different perspective), one person might be a better cook, the other better at repairing things and running the household. Each can ask for a baby-sitting swap once a week, without having a stranger in the home.

    Use the ‘parent with child’ search filter in search to find parents in a similar situation as yourself – search parent with a child.

  3. Older housemate sharing with a younger housemate (or a couple).

    Homeshare is an organisation that pairs older home owners with younger people, usually students, offering a reduced rent for a set amount of support a week. This explicit sharing arrangement has obvious benefits, but you might create a similar informal sharing arrangement on Cohabitas by finding the right sort of person to share with.

    What about a much older, but healthy housemate, say 75, sharing with a ‘younger’ mature housemate of around 50? The older housemate might own the property, the younger might have caring skills, cooking ability, or happy to tidy the house in exchange for lower rent.

    We have many people looking for this sort of arrangement, as well as housemates who have some previous nursing and caring experience who can offer this sort of help. There is a field on the landlord’s Room for rent form listing form that allows landlords to request this sort of assistance.

    Search using a keyword … such as housemates who are carers.

    The NYTimes had an interesting article about this too – Older Americans are exploring housing alternatives, including villages and home-sharing

  4. Two older housemates sharing

    Maybe one of the simplest and most obvious combinations, but as we get a little older we feel less confident to try new ways of living; even if we are lonely or finding it harder to look after ourselves.

    This house sharing combination, more than any, offers a chance to stay in your own home for longer. Each housemate can support the other to begin with, then additional help can be added as required. Just having someone around can be very valuable and can add a social dimension, so it doesn’t have to be about personal care.

    You can use the advanced search filter to see who is interested in sharing with a particular age-group. Some people are quite flexible, so see who is there.

  5. Monday to Friday only flat shares

    This is a very popular solution in the bigger cities, especialy as more people continue to spend a few days ‘working from home’ on Monday and Friday. Landlords can mark their room for rent as being Monday-Friday only, or Mid-week only. Just state what you are offering in the description if you want the whole weekend free for example (Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

    There is a search filter for Rooms for rent offered Mon-Fri only

  6. Professionals flat sharing

    Well established among older housemates, although the opportunity to live in an inter-generational house share is always there too. Some of these house shares are often quite sopisticated, with a high standard of accommodation, especially near city centre areas.

    Many housemates say they are a professional, and some landlords offering rooms for rent state they are looking for a professional (like themselves).

  7. A person living with a disability with a person able to be present at night and in the morning.

    People living with a disability is a wide-ranging term. Some need specialist care and this is best provided by professionals. Some people though, have only limited disabilities that stop them caring for themselves completely.

    Being a housemate with someone who is disabled doesn’t necessarily mean you have to deal with their personal care needs. It can, for example, mean you make them a cup of tea and breakfast in the morning before other care services arrive later in the day. Offering some company some of the time and sharing a meal like you would with any other housemate is equally valuable to them. The reward for the housemate is a home and a reduced rent.

    Rooms fo rent have to state the access arrangements on the room listing, so you can check.

    We would like to encourage disabled home owners and lead tenants to offer a room. Add a room for rent listing and see who is looking.

If you have any questions about the suitability of house sharing for your particular please feel free to contact us. Our response will be that confidence is the biggest barrier, but that some personal situations, such as the severity of an illness or disability, make house sharing unlikely, rather than impossible.


Register to receive our newsletter. You can manage and cancel your subscription in Account Details found in the main menu.