For 83 year old Margaret from London, her sharer Christine has brought the outside world in. Margaret lives with Parkinson’s and is registered blind. With carers providing support across the day, having a homesharer around for extra companionship has made a huge difference to Margaret’s life. The powerful dynamics between the two began the first time they met, and quickly developed into a strong bond which has delivered compelling rewards for both sharer and householder.
“I was intrigued by the idea of having someone to come and live with me because being in
the house on your own is quite difficult. I used to just sit and watch black and white TV, so
it’s been satisfying having someone to talk to. It’s been a real bonus.
My daughter heard of homeshare, and she thought it would be useful to have someone else
in the house. The dynamics between my sharer, Christine, and I, started when she came
here for an interview – she rewarded me for asking a good question!
I think it’s very difficult to get the right person as you don’t know what you’re looking for! I
was wanting someone who could be in the house, but I wasn’t expecting the level of
commitment I got from Christine – it’s really developed into quite a friendship.
Bringing the outside world in
She’s such a lively person and she has insight into the outer world which I don’t live in
anymore. She’s a very good companion. Christine is always there, and I can always ask her
questions and she can ask me whatever questions she wants.
I find it useful that someone else is around. For instance, if I drop or lose my phone,
Christine will find it.
We have good conversations which I wouldn’t normally have when I was on my own. I have
a background in psychology, a topic that Christine is also interested in, and we talk about
relationships, politics and general topics; it keeps me thinking! I also manage to hear about
Christine’s work and how organisations are run.
Christine is a very good cook and there are always home-cooked meals with a variety of
vegetables which she cooks extremely well.
We have great fun together; in fact, she’s introduced me to television programmes that I’ve
never even seen on my own. Sometimes, we even watch French news together.
Once, I invited her parents over. I get on really well with her mother, who is from a French
speaking background. I am fluent in French, so we often speak French. I have also met her
brother, and her sister comes over to the house sometimes. Similarly, she has met my son
briefly (who now lives in New York) and knows my daughter very well.
To find a room in London, at a decent price, is difficult for younger people and therefore this
arrangement is rewarding for both parties. Given the cost of houses and renting,
homesharing is very good value and has enabled my sharer to save money and go on
holiday for example.
She feels like another daughter almost. My advice for people who may benefit from a
homeshare arrangement is to look into it. There must be other like me who do not know the
system and homeshare could really help. If you can get a match, go for it!
We have been homesharing for more than one year now, and it has extended my sharers
repertoire as well as mine! We have a strong bond.”