Last week, we discussed the importance of safeguarding while home sharing and briefly touched on the benefit of including a third party in your search for a fitting housemate. Now, we’ll dig deeper into the value of having third party and consider how to include your adult children in this next stage of your life.
Why Include Your Adult Children?
Many seniors turn to homesharing as a means to age-in-place, that is, live comfortably and independently in their homes while receiving the light support required to do so. However, health and wellbeing change over time, so the inclusion of adult children in the homeshare process is crucial.
Despite thriving independently at the moment, if your health were to decline or an accident were to occur, your adult child would likely become more involved in your home share arrangement. The best time to prepare for trouble is when things are running smoothly, so including your adult child in your home share journey now helps to protect you and keep you safe later on, while minimizing worry for your family and your housemate.
Consider Your Child’s Perspective
Many people prefer to handle their home share independently and not bother their children, but keep in mind that including them in the process has many benefits. Learning that a parent will have a housemate can be a relief for adult children, though it can also prompt important questions:
If you experience a fall and remain hospitalized for some time, what happens to your housemate?
Who handles the bills and utilities during this time?
Is it safe to leave the housemate alone for weeks at a time?
Considering that housemates are not responsible for personal care:
o Who will provide that support should you need it?
o How can your adult child ensure that your housemate does not feel burdened if your personal care needs increase?
o How frequently should your adult child communicate with your housemate for updates on your health (for instance, if your cognitive ability were to decline)?
How much responsibility should be delegated to the housemate in terms of your personal safety?
If it’s in your best interest to enter an assisted living facility at some point in the future, what will happen to your housemate?
Your adult child is likely thinking about these questions, among many others. Including them in your homeshare process from the get-go can help to ensure that you’re remaining safe, while also putting your child’s mind at ease and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
These considerations, although unpleasant, are worth discussing with your adult children and housemate. Doing so acts as insurance for you and your family in the case that an emergency does occur. In the best-case scenario, this discussion will be all for naught! But if you do experience a health scare of any sort, it’s much better to be prepared.
Communicate Clearly with All Parties
Your adult child probably isn’t the only person considering these questions; your housemate may be, too. Many housemates enjoy being part of the aging-in-place plan, though it does introduce a level of uncertainty into their lives, and for some it can cause worry that they’ll be expected to take on more responsibilities than intended. Your housemate is not a hired health care provider, after all, and they'll be more comfortable knowing that there’s a contingency plan in place, should anything happen.
Involve your adult child in the process and include the abovementioned considerations in your home share agreement from the start. Ensure that all parties understand their roles and responsibilities in potential scenarios to avoid undue stress and confusion, and to make sure that should anything happen, the focus remains on you and your wellbeing without unnecessary distractions.
Still unsure how to involve your adult child in your homeshare process? Feel free to contact our team at HomeShare Alliance. We’re equipped with the knowledge and experience to guide you on the path to a homeshare agreement that satisfies everyone involved!