by Saoirse Sheridan, founder Elder Home Share

Christmas is a time for family and friends. However, this is not the reality for everyone with loneliness among older adults being particularly prevalent over the Christmas period. Thankfully, there is a solution for families with this need.

Irish start-up Elder Home Share has been connecting and matching families with an elderly parent living alone, with reference checked accommodation seekers since January 2016. Elder Home Share was launched by Saoirse Sheridan who came up with the idea when she was given notice to move out of her rented accommodation. This service allows families to meet with and select a suitable home share companion to live with their elderly loved one. In return, the companion helps out for an agreed amount of time each week. Saoirse home shared with David who is now 98 for two years. She is now living in Monkstown with a very upbeat 89-year-old lady.

Elder Home Share reached a meaningful milestone this month with its 50th placement and have just facilitated the 51st placement for a 94-year-old lady on south side Dublin.

Recent Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee Saoirse says ‘I love the fact that it’s a win-win for all involved the family gain great peace of mind knowing there is someone in the house with their parent. The homeowner enjoys the company, security and help with practical tasks such as putting out the bins. The home share companion experiences greatly reduced financial stress allowing them to focus on more meaningful life goals such as saving for a house, doing their master’s or like me investing in developing a new business instead of worrying about paying exorbitant rents. With so much bleak information out there about elderly isolation and the continuous rising cost of accommodation, it is nice to provide a win-win long-term solution for the homeowner, their family, and the companion’.

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