Q: Tell us about you!
I am an Orthopaedic surgeon, with my own work and family away from my mother. We had been worried about care for my mother who is in her 80s and fiercely independent, determined to stay in her own house, but becoming increasingly muddled.
We did try carers living in, but my mother hated them, they often did a few days and there was lack of continuity or they didn’t understand my mother’s wishes (and they were really expensive).
Q: How has sharing been?
The homeshare arrangement is lovely. Tom has lived in my mother’s home for a year now. My mother feels respected and supported, with great continuity. Tom is kind and gentle. My mother knows she can stay in her own home. She treats Tom like family.
Q: What's one story from your experience you'd like to share?
Tom often cooks for my mother or they go out for a walk. He can cope when there is a crisis.
A few months ago, when I was abroad, Tom sent me a photo of my mother out at a café having fun, which was very thoughtful.
Q: What would you say to those who are considering Homeshare?
It is a win-win arrangement. When you are trying to stay in your own home, there are often little practical things that seem disproportionately difficult if you are lonely or frail. A homesharer is just the right balance of retaining independence and helping with what is needed.
The alternatives are often arrived at in a crisis, with people suddenly having to decide if they want expensive carers or to go into a residential home.
Homesharers save the huge upheaval of down-sizing or moving into a residential home. There is just the right balance of help and you can find a new rhythm of what works best over the long-term for the two of you.
Q: Any feedback you'd give us?
The concept of Homeshare should be more widely known about. It works well. I think large numbers of people would benefit from being able to stay in their own home with support, retaining their independence.