For the price of companionship, practical help and a sustainable solution to loneliness, many international students in the UK are signing up to elderly homeshare schemes.
The Share & Care Homeshare initiative in London is just one of the agencies enticing young learners from overseas and local regions in an attempt to save them from extravagant rental prices.
Each arrangement differs depending on the Homeowner’s sharing preferences. Sometimes, the homeshare will cost as little as £5 a day and simply requires a small amount of time and domestic help.
As Share & Care states on its website, “The Sharer benefits from a low cost home to share, affordable accommodation and is willing to support the homeowner through tasks such as cooking, shopping, light cleaning, DIY, computer assistance, gardening – and friendly companionship in exchange for somewhere to live.”
Our householder Doreen celebrated her 80th birthday last week. She said this about #HomeshareUK “If someone has doubts about #Homeshare ,DO IT! I’ve learned so much & it changed my life”@LBFEW @age_uk @BigLotteryFund @SCIE_socialcare @SharedLivesPlus @Homeshare_UK pic.twitter.com/xj2kxWjdx8
— HomesharePossAbilities (@PossAbHomeshare) May 15, 2018
This is often a popular option for international students looking to spend 1-2 years abroad whilst studying at their selected university, especially if their campus is spread across the city and they would rather a private place to live over busy halls.
Why do these schemes work so well?
Aside from saving a bucket-load of cash, you’ll also be doing a kind act of community service.
Loneliness doesn’t just impact the elderly network in the UK, it also impacts students far and wide. In an unfamiliar environment, it helps to live with someone who knows the area, someone who can also offer support and advice.
These skills also provide valuable life experience. When you’re stuck in pricey student halls, you can only really converse with like-minded individuals who are also firmly wrapped up in the hectic student bubble.
But when you extend your friendship circle to people from different backgrounds, your real-world perspective will flourish and you’ll see life in a brand-new light.
What if I don’t get along with my Homeowner?
Share & Care schemes usually interview prospective Homeowners and potential sharers to ensure precise and careful matching.
Every scheme will have their own requirements. This UK agency, for example, requests that you’re above 24 years old and that you’re confident in making meals and socialising with your future match.
Since these arrangements last at least a year, running for several years after if everything works out, it’s crucial to be paired with a suitable householder.
You’ll need to demonstrate a genuine interest to help out the elderly, not just a keen interest in low-cost rent!
Plus, with most of these homesharing companies, there comes a facilitation fee to fund the pairing process and to receive ongoing company support.
Intergenerational homesharing can help reduce loneliness and isolation, improve wellbeing and address the lack of affordable housing options according to research published by #LloydsBank Foundation and #TheBigLottery Fund.#Homeshare #Accommodation #TuesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/ujA8X4zXkO
— Share & Care (@ShareandCareOrg) May 15, 2018
If this notion of knowledge-transfer and reduced rent interests you, and you’re eager to enrich someone else’s life – why not try it out?
Also, this invaluable experience will be great to mention on your CV.
By demonstrating that you care for communities other than your own, showing initiative and adaptability to your living situation, future employers will give your professional portfolio some serious thought!