Light Rent for Light Caregiving: Seniors Exchanging Rooms for Care


The New Old Age has started a series about what they call “grassroots versions” of senior housing and elder care. The first post tells an interesting story: A retired nurse rents a room from an elderly woman and gives light care and companionship in exchange for subsidized rent. (The elderly woman’s son also lives there.)

A couple of caveats: The post calls this arrangement “home sharing” but doesn’t mention that home sharing is often (probably usually) a simple roommate arrangement, with no care involved. You can read more about that here.

In addition, it’s easy to assume from the story that the nurse is with the elderly woman all the time, as a full-time caregiver. But in a comment underneath the post, the writer who runs the blog, Paula Span, clarifies that the caregiving time is less than 10 hours a week. (Span didn’t write the post; a fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism did.)

You can read the post and watch an accompanying video here: “My House, Our Home.”

Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who covers finding and paying for long-term care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

Posted in Aging in Place, Caregiving, In-Home Care, Senior Care—Other Options Tagged with:
6 comments on “Light Rent for Light Caregiving: Seniors Exchanging Rooms for Care
  1. Nursing Home says:

    There are many types of care homes are present like nursing homes, residential care homes, dementia care homes. Care Home has different cost criteria on the basis of their services.Nursing homes provide facilities of personal care, but with essential medical care. These homes will have their own special staff and qualified nurses. This is the main factor for increasing prize of nursing homes.

  2. We are part of this type of care. My husband’s sister can take care of herself, for the most part, but needs some supervised and transportation. We added a room to our house so she can have her own space.

    She does help with dishes and house cleaning, but doesn’t drive so we have to take her to doctor’s appointments, etc.

    It isn’t the way we had planned to spend our senior years, but we try to make the best of the situation.

  3. James Fox says:

    I would love to have a lady who can help me with my health care not much to do mostly work around apartment and cooking some days also go to some doctor appointment Will adjust rent up to no rent can also work else where.

    • James Fox says:

      Also have full use of apartment and can use vehicle while assisting with going to hospital or shopping or any emergency as needed for me or self..

  4. Gary says:

    I am looking for a place a set of not so good circumstances put me in a financial hardship until Social Security in two months and these type of posted ideas are just what the dr. Ordered good job and good thinking Gary

  5. Jennifer Dennis says:

    I’m a 35 year old mother of a beautiful 4 year old, recently divorced. We are looking for a room to share. I can offer cleaning and meals for breakfast before work and dinner after work. I can run errands, and offer company and companionship.

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