Since the comical but tight-knit Golden Girls appeared on our televisions as four senior roommates in typical Florida, an idea has been presented to society about the variety of options for senior living as a woman.
Close to twice as many elderly women remain single, versus their male counterparts. Although women may seem to be in the most need of a roommate arrangement, that doesn’t necessarily mean their roommates will also be women! Is sharing a home with your fellow seniors really a viable opportunity for elders or is it something that only works in Hollywood?
The Golden Girls: Senior Roomies
Consider these benefits to the right scenario as you consider living arrangements for yourself or someone you care about
- Maintaining Social Interaction ~ Keeping in contact with social circles is important with age. Everything about socialising is good for the body and soul. Not only do we maintain friendships and stay involved in mutual activities, but this is really the only way to make new friends and find exposure to new things.
- Saving Money ~ Men on average have twice the median income as single women in any age group, at a very modest $27,707 for males and $15,362 for females in 2011. Of course this can vary, but no matter what the income, sharing space always saves money. Splitting all the bills involved in a household benefits everyone financially. This is especially smart when you consider that fixed or low incomes can change quickly and without warning.
- Sharing Resources ~ Common resources that roommates share can be a lot of small things like groceries and linens. But even when dividing utilities, the bill for two or three people will be far less than what it would be for the three of them living separately. One lamp in a living room allows three people to read. One television entertains the whole room. But much larger resources can really help everyone enjoy a better lifestyle, such as one of the roommates owning the home, sharing a vehicle and pooling appliances.
- Providing Structure and Activity ~ It’s well-known that the older we get, the lonelier and less likely to leave the house as often. This can lead to health issues if we are using our body less and becoming detached from society. After the death of a spouse, it’s easy to withdraw and accept living alone. With roommates, everyone is more likely to take part in one another’s schedule or just be encouraged to do the same when a roommate is active and busy.
- Safety ~ It’s always safer to live, travel and shop in numbers. This can be as simple as having a partner to walk to the car with or help move a dresser. But a more serious concern is the potential for victimization by burglars or con artists when they know someone lives alone and has no one to advocate for an older person’s protection. Even two feeble people are more intimidating than one.
- Mental Health ~ Loneliness and detachment from daily activity with others can quickly turn into depression and other mental health issues that do affect physical health and well-being. We all have issues that plague our mental stability and having others to share feelings with and lean on during rough times is crucial to life.
- Gender Roles ~ It may seem old-fashioned, but there is a comfort in having a roommate of the opposite sex, for those who are used to someone else cooking or taking out the trash. It’s all about finding a good fit.
Having roommates may seem like a silly thing that college kids do, but the truth is humans thrive for years surrounded by immediate and extended family. That is until we get older and so much of that family spreads apart or slips away. Having roommates is like a second family, which is completely natural and healthy.