ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has announced a three-month pilot of THE HomeShare services across the country.
Homeshare matches people who need companionship and some practical help to live independently at home (householder ) with people who need accommodation (homesharers ). ALONE, in partnership with THE HomeShare, will pilot this initiative with ALONE service-users.
The pilot will run for three months from August 1 to October 31. The partnership aims to assist an ageing population to remain in their own homes, with suitable supports, while also offering affordable accommodation for younger people at a time of record housing shortages.
THE HomeShare pilot initiative comes just weeks after ALONE’s report, Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action, estimated a demand for homesharing to have reached 1,000 places nationwide.
Homesharing involves two unrelated people sharing a home for mutual benefit. Typically, an older householder with a spare room will be carefully matched with a younger homesharer, who has successfully completed a comprehensive approval process. In exchange for low cost accommodation, homesharers will provide an agreed level of support. This may include help with daily tasks such as cleaning, shopping, gardening, overnight security and companionship.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE hopes to greatly increase awareness of THE HomeShare service with older people, their families and service providers in the community. This initiative offers huge potential to help older people, who may be struggling with loneliness or household tasks, and young professionals who are facing increasing high rents.”
He continued, “Homesharing is not a replacement for carers or housekeepers, but it can make a meaningful difference for the well-being of older people living alone. Companionship and peace of mind, knowing that they’re not alone in their home, can really help to maintain an older person’s independence.”
Lucie Cunningham, Managing Director of THE HomeShare, said, “we are delighted to be partnering with ALONE on this pilot project. We want to offer our services to as many older people as possible so that they have another option to support them to age at home for longer. ALONE fits well with our ethos and I hope that by working together, we can raise awareness of THE HomeShare’s ability to solve the housing difficulties of older and younger people alike.”
For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01 ) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.