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"It’s rewarding to see how much of a positive difference I have in Norma’s life"- Emily

Emily has been homesharing with Norma who has Dementia since September 2019. Here's what Emily has to say about her experience so far.

Emily (left) and Norma (right)

"I am a 23 year old final year student at King’s College London and I’ve been homesharing with Norma since September last year.

I had an idea of what I was getting myself into with homesharing but I was quite nervous to make sure that I got it right and was what Norma needed me to be while still looking after myself and my studies.

A usual day with Norma will usually start by me making her a cup of tea in the morning whilst having a chat and making sure I help her switch on the TV before I go to uni,

or if I’m not in that morning and it’s a nice day we’ll go out for a walk in Regent’s Park which Norma loves! In the evening I’ll make sure she’s had some dinner and I’ll tell her all about my day which she always wants to hear all about before watching something together or TV – I’ve become quite the expert on Flog it.

Being a homesharer has definitely taught me a lot this year, the biggest thing I have probably developed is my ability to be very patient. Norma’s dementia means that we have the same conversations quite often but I’ve learnt to adjust to this and communicate with her well rather than hurry things along as I may have previously done. It’s rewarding to see how much of a positive difference I can have in Norma’s life too, even something such as when our boiler broke so we had no hot water or radiators and I managed to fix it with a Youtube video – something I can’t imagine myself having done a year ago, but Norma definitely appreciated the warmth! She’s also had me blowing leaves in her garden in the autumn and been a taste-tester for my many culinary experiments!

Being a homesharer definitely hasn’t been easy and the advice I would give to a future homesharer is that you can’t just be in it for the affordable rent. It’s a commitment and I definitely haven’t led a ‘student life’ this year which you have to be prepared to adjust for. However, I have loved living with Norma, she has taught me a lot and I can see the benefit she gets from having me around too which makes the lack of a crazy student life most definitely worth it!"

-Emily (Homeshare)

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