Homeshare schemes match an older householder with a 'Homesharer' who can provide some support and companionship - often a student or public service worker in housing need. Homesharers, who may be single or a couple, usually live rent free but contribute to household bills and provide an agreed amount of hours of help each week; shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and gardening. They keep an eye on the older person, providing company, reassurance, support and, if necessary, liaison with relatives.
Homesharers play a preventive role - improving nutrition, ensuring drugs are taken correctly, reducing risk of falls and use of emergency services, but they do not provide personal care, which is arranged separately. Increasing need for personal and/or nursing care by the older person often limits the duration of a match but Homesharing can shorten hospital stays and delay a move to residential care.
This factsheet (opens new window) by EAC explains what homesharing is. It states that it is a simple way of people helping each other. One person has a home that they are willing to share but are at a stage in their life where they need some help and support. The other needs accommodation and is willing to give some help in exchange for somewhere to live.