The term “elder orphan” describes a senior citizen who doesn’t have children, a spouse, or family nearby to help them out. Elder orphans are often socially isolated and at-risk of not having their basic needs met. As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, housing alternatives, such as senior villages, senior cohousing networks, and shared housing units, are emerging as community-focused solutions to the problem of isolation.
While shared housing may be thought of a something young people do, it offers seniors social connection, an informal support system, assistance with tasks, and an opportunity to save money. I spoke with Annamarie Pluhar, shared housing advocate and the author of “Sharing Housing: a Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates,” about the best ways for seniors to find and keep housemates and enjoy sharing their home with someone else.
Read How Shared Housing Can Help Counter Social Isolation Among Seniors by Cat Johnson at Shareable.