As older adults create their own unique ways to age during their retirement years, a new trend amongst older adults is making its appearance. Dwell is reporting on a trend of older adults using online services, like Silvernest and Senior Homeshares, to find other older adults who could potentially become roommates. These services offer a place where older adult homeowners can list spare rooms in their home to find renters, who are often other older adults. These websites are free to use for all older adults. Through these websites, older adults can have conversations with each other where they can define expectations and ground rules.
These arrangements of living with someone other than a spouse or solo are on the rise, especially amongst women. Dwell reports that a 2021 AARP survey found that 69% of older adults were open to sharing their home with someone other than a spouse, and 54% were willing to live with a friend. The Center for American Progress theorizes that gaps in retirement savings, retirement insecurity, and rising housing costs are probably what is driving this trend of older adults moving in together. Additionally, besides online services like Silvernest and Senior Homeshare, there are intergenerational roommate sites like Nesterly and New York Foundation for Senior Citizens that offer a free home-sharing program for older adult hosts and renters in New York City.
Dwell remarks on the many different benefits these kinds of arrangements can have for older adults, in terms of social isolation and loneliness. Additionally, because of the ability to chat with potential roommates on Silvernest to establish rapport, this trend may go beyond the roommate situation and allow for something more longer-term to develop, like a friendship.
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Carney, A. (2023). For these seniors, there’s no such thing as being too old for roommates. Dwell. https://www.dwell.com/article/for-these-seniors-theres-no-such-thing-as-being-too-old-for-roommates-880c572d