Often in these situations, people cannot – or are not – able to accept the diagnosis. It is a very difficult, complex time for all involved, and adjusting to a diagnosis can be challenging.
There may also be a lack of understanding and awareness – avoiding or not recognising a dementia diagnosis can lead to certain difficulties or problems.
As the Homeshare Association 2023 report confirms, one of the primary drivers for seeking
a homeshare arrangement is dementia and people living with dementia are among those
most likely to benefit from this type of arrangement. We have seen a rise in the number of
people in homeshare arrangements who live with dementia, partly due to growing
awareness of the benefits of homeshare to the life of the person who is living with
dementia, but also due to increasing numbers of people receiving a dementia diagnosis.
As homeshare is for everyone and anyone, we have also found that it helps address
dementia denial in different ways.
Sharers are friends, not carers
The fact that sharers give their support in a manner of a friend – and not a carer – can make
accepting help easier. Many of the families we work with take this approach with very
successful outcomes. The sharer moves into the home on the understanding that they are
becoming a friend of the family. The whole arrangement is positioned as a circle of support
– the householder is aware that they are giving something back to their new friend by
providing their sharer with a room in their home.
Our sharers and householders do form genuine, strong, intergenerational friendships and
speak very highly of how valuable this is and the difference it makes to their lives having
become like family to each other.
Sharers support ‘in the background’
It’s not unusual for people with dementia to turn help away, or even refuse to have any help
at all. However, as sharers are not carers, they are able to assist people with dementia in a
low-key way – their support could be considered ‘under the radar’ as they are able to help
‘quietly’ in the background. For instance, organising appointments, ensuring there is food in
the fridge that’s within the use-by dates, encouraging eating meals together to ensure the
person with dementia eats, helping to locate missing items, or acting as a prompt to take
medication when needed and helping with diary management.
Our sharers provide that gentle nudge for people’s daily routines, in a friendly and non-
A pillar for individuals or couples
Many people are aware just how well homeshare works for single older people who were
otherwise living alone, but may not know that homeshare works just as well for couples.
For instance, we support couples with a sharer; often when one has been diagnosed with
dementia and they would both benefit from a level a of practical and moral support.
An alternative choice
There are many occasions when people do not need residential care, or live-in carers, both
of which can often be flagged as the first port of call. And although homeshare can indeed
run alongside a care package, it is also an option in its own right.
Homeshare provides an alternative and, often, a much better-suited choice for people living
Homeshare is for everyone
Whilst homeshare is incredibly effective for people with a dementia diagnosis, it is for
everyone and anyone who needs some support around the home.
Remember that whilst many of our householders do benefit from the practical support that
sharers provide, there are also some householders who only seek the companionship and
reassurance that there is someone else in their home; or others who benefit from a mix of
It also provides reassurance for families; homeshare can be particularly useful for families
who do not live nearby and are unable to provide instant face-to-face support to their loved
ones, as it provides peace-of-mind to all parties.
Making it work for you
Homesharing is adaptable to the individual needs of a wide range of older people; its
flexibility is one of the reasons that its such an attractive and effective choice for those living
If you’d like to talk to our team about how homeshare could work in your own
circumstances or that of a loved one, give us a call today. Our founder is a Dementia Friends
Ambassador, who also delivers dementia information sessions to our clients and the wider
community; and we would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the positive
impact of homeshare for those living with dementia.