With a dream to own her own home and launch a business, 31 year old Abi knew that
living in an expensive luxury apartment wasn’t going to help her reach these goals – she
knew a change had to made.
Whilst investigating her options, Abi discovered the low-cost option of homesharing. With
her established background in social care, Abi knew this would be the perfect move for
her. Today, Abi homeshares with a married couple in their 80s in London, and she’s on the
road to saving for a promising future.
“I moved into a luxury apartment in London which I absolutely loved during the lockdown
when rents were lower, and I knew at the time that I was paying a discounted rate.
However, over a 3 year period the rent increased significantly, and combined with
everything else going up in price, it pushed me out of that particular rental property.
I realised that I needed to save now in order to help me reach my goal of eventually
purchasing my own home and also starting my own business in social care.
Rising rents were a big worry
The situation in the rental market was a big worry for me, I didn’t want to get into the same predicament of having to move out of somewhere when the rent increased. I wanted to be
able to save money to afford to do things that I enjoy and things that I aim to achieve.
I wanted to make sacrifices now to have a better future, and one of those sacrifices was
around the type of accommodation to live in. Initially I was thinking that I would only be
able to afford just a room and not a whole place to myself. When I spotted the advert from
Share and Care Homeshare, it was unbelievable. I thought that it must be too good to be
true! Yet I contacted the team and soon discovered that it was genuine!
When the Share and Care team explained how a homeshare arrangement works, I knew
that it was perfect for me. I’m already from a social care background and it made sense to
use my skills and knowledge in this type of living arrangement. In exchange for paying a low
rent, I can help somebody else.
I was matched with a couple in their 80s in London, John and Mary. Mary lives with
dementia and John provides most of the support for Mary along with carers, although I am
always here whenever needed and happy to support wherever I can.
In my social work role, I work 9 -5 so my typical day starts with me coming down stairs in the
morning and saying hello to my householders. John makes Mary’s breakfast and lunch, and
I make dinner. In the morning, carers come into support Mary and I go upstairs to work for
Companionship is key
My main role as a sharer really revolves around social companionship, which is varied. It’s
often during the evenings that I support John and Mary the most – I will step in to help with
the areas they most need an helping hand with.
As I enjoy cooking, I’ve helped my householders discover new meals. I generally cook
dinner for everyone and we sit down together to eat at around 6 pm. Equally I might sit
down and watch a television programme with them, or on Sundays I may join them on a trip
to church, which is conveniently opposite the house.
One day a week we all go to a lunch club which is also nice. We even sometimes drink wine
together which is lovely.
I wanted to get my nails done once and I even took Mary along. She had a great time, and I
even introduced her to Nando’s – it was the first time she’d eaten at Nando’s!
I’ve also had my eyes open to new things. As well as being introduced to classical music, I’ve
also discovered the 90s television programme Heartbeat.
To help ensure that we all know each other’s weekly commitments, I use the diary that
Share and Care Homeshare provides. Every Sunday I sit down and make a note in the diary
of what I’m doing and where I’ll be the following week – this means that my householders
can easily see what I have coming up. John has a busy social life too, so it also helps me see
at a glance where he’ll be.
Homesharing is a win-win
Our homeshare arrangement is a really good match, and it is a win-win for all of us – me and
my householders. I’ve only been sharing for a relatively short time, but our friendship is
growing and I’m starting to recognise their personality traits.
They are always keen to hear about my life and are probably show the most interest in my
They enjoy speaking about their family and grandchildren, and I’m also getting to know John
and Mary’s children too which is great. When they come to visit, I get to know them more
each time, and we have some great conversations together. They have a granddaughter
who is only a few years younger than me, which is really nice – we have common ground.
I’ve even been introduced to the extended family, and have met Mary’s sister and her
Homesharing is a new experience for me, and it’s the first time that I’ve ever lived with
anyone from an older generation. I feel it has given me a very different aspect on my social
care work. Sometimes the family also ask for my advice – given my social care background –
which is a huge compliment.
My advice to anyone considering joining a homeshare arrangement is that it’s a very good
option if you want to put your head down and save money. People also need to understand
the expectations and ensure that they can provide the time and support needed. Of course
as a sharer you still have time to do the hobbies and things you really enjoy doing, but you
do also need to put aside the time to support your householders and fulfil the obligations
that you’ve agreed to.”