Shared Housing

Shared housing is, simply, where people share a home. Your parent might move into someone else’s place, they might move into hers or the two of them might find new digs together.

Issues to Consider

Living with others can be cost-effective, an antidote to loneliness and add helping hands and caring people. Increased longevity, healthcare and household expenses can make this a sensible option. Often, it allows Mom to live someplace nicer than she could afford on your own.

Screening a roommate.

The key: make sure she has the right roommate(s). If you can’t get together in person, “meet” on FaceTime or Skype. Love at first sight? Great, but you still need to discuss potential areas of conflict: chores, cleanliness, noise, overnight guests, pets, common space, and privacy.

Why contracts are a must.

Make sure you have a written contract (when bills will be paid, chores list, etc.) and an escape plan if it doesn’t work. Share a meal at the end of the first week to discuss the arrangement and then check in regularly.

Another option: if your mom has room in her house and needs help with chores, rides or care, have someone stay in an extra bedroom in exchange for their time (10 hours/wk., let’s say). Sometimes they also pay rent.