Aside from the financial advantages of homesharing, there are strong social, emotional and physical health advantages to fostering companionship as we age. Our members have an opportunity to share not just housing expenses, but also friendships.
Boulder, CO (PRWEB) September 02, 2015
Shareagenarians, LLC today announced the launch of its nationwide online homeshare matching service exclusively for older adults. Shareagenarians.com is a paid subscription service that matches seniors who have "more home than they need" (such as empty-nesters and widows/widowers) with peers who need safe, affordable housing.
The service provides a solution for older adults whose housing expenses leave them with inadequate funds for basics such as food and health care. People aged 50 – 64 whose housing expenses represent a severe burden reduce their health care spending by 70 percent, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, with support from the AARP Foundation. The study also found that people whose housing expense exceeds half their income spend 40 percent less on food.
“These statistics really hit home for me, and I wanted to give elders a better option than choosing between home, health and food,” says Stephanie Heacox, founder and CEO of Shareagenarians. “As a longtime website producer and usability consultant, I knew how to leverage technology to address the problem. And having watched my own mother struggle to come to terms with giving up her home of 50 years, I was eager to use my experience to address this pressing social need.”
The few elder homeshare services that already exist are mostly specialized, local or offline, and they meet only a small percentage of the existing need. As a national online matching service, Shareagenarians.com will reach the larger market and fill in existing gaps.
Designed in partnership with prospective users, Shareagenarians.com employs a combination of advanced matching algorithms and intuitive navigation to simplify use by members with any level of online experience. To raise their comfort level, members can name “helpers,” such as a friend or relative, who have full access to their accounts and can work with them to complete their profiles and keep track of messages. In addition, the Shareagenarians phone, email and chat support teams are staffed by baby boomers to provide users with peer support.
Shareagenarians.com also features an advice column, Ask Steph, where users can submit questions about their living situations, housemate relationships, or other subjects of interest. This column has a twist, however, because users will be able to add their own comments, blog-style, and thereby share centuries of accumulated wisdom.
“We want it to be as easy as possible for older adults to use this service,” Heacox says. “Aside from the financial advantages of homesharing, there are strong social, emotional and physical health advantages to fostering companionship as we age. Our members have an opportunity to share not just housing expenses, but also friendships.”
Shareagenarians is offering free trial memberships during its launch month. In addition, it has launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign in support of an extended free subscription period to increase membership and housing options for elders as quickly as possible. New members can begin to create their profiles immediately by going to http://www.shareagenarians.com.