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Is home share right for you, or your parents?

Home share matches are different from traditional landlord/tenant situations, because each match is a personalized blend of trading some services and/or money in the context of building a new relationship between two or more adults. While there may be a monthly rent involved — the average is $175.00 — we like to emphasize that this is a home share, not simply a rental. In fact, Vermont law states that any income from a home share arrangement is exempt from Act 60 consideration.

Home share matches are also not meant to take the place of 24-7 nursing care. While we sometimes get home seekers with care-giving experience, that is the exception, not the rule.

We think home share matches can be wonderful for seniors and others who are feeling lonely, or concerned about living alone. Recent studies have shown that loneliness may be a factor in dementia. A home share relationship can help people stay more engaged in life, and slow the aging process.

The best candidates for home shares are those individuals who are starting to have some aging challenges but don’t wait too long to call us. One of our current home providers explained why. He said he could probably have stayed in his own house for only two more years without help. By acting now, he believes he will significantly extend the number of years he can keep living at home.

We have found some personal qualities that are helpful for both home seekers and home providers: a willingness to embrace change, a sense of humor, flexibility, patience, and an ability to speak up — and listen. It’s also a plus if you’re realistic. Home sharing is not meant to take the place of fulltime care, or to provide anyone with a free ride. If you have realistic expectations that are respectful of the other person’s needs, you’re far more likely to be satisfied with a home share arrangement.

If home share isn’t right for you or your parents

Perhaps the home share program doesn’t meet your family’s needs right now.  To learn more about your options, call the Senior Helpline, 1-800-642-5119 (“One number, hundreds of answers”).  If a residential care facility is a better choice, the state of Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) has information on a variety of housing alternatives at  Other housing opportunities for seniors can be found at the Vermont State Housing Authority, the Barre Housing Authority (, the Montpelier Housing Authority (, and the Central Vermont Community Land Trust (