Homeshare brings together older householders or householders with a disability who could benefit from help in the home and companionship, with people of integrity prepared to lend a hand in return for affordable accommodation. The Householder provides a bedroom and shared facilities. In exchange, the Homesharer provides approximately 10 hours per week of practical assistance such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening, as well as providing company and the added security of having someone else sleeping in the home.
Please note that HANZA does not provide a Homeshare matching service to individuals. If you are interested in becoming a Homesharer you can click here to read about the Homeshare programs available in your State.
What does a Homeshare Program Coordinator do?
- Assists the two parties to match up – Householders and Homesharers complete detailed application forms. All applicants are interviewed and carefully screened, including a police check. Introductions of Householders and Homesharers are arranged. If both parties decide the match is worth a try, the Homesharer moves in. If either party is unhappy, the arrangements can be terminated and the search starts again.
- Sorts out the two parties’ expectations – Homeshare draws up an agreement detailing the arrangements that have been worked out including specific tasks, sharing or covering daily living costs, use of telephone and other facilities. Every agreement will be different to suit the circumstances of the match.
- Provides ongoing support for both parties.
Principles of the Homeshare Model
- Older people and people with a disability have a right to remain in their own home should they wish to do so, living with as much autonomy and independence as they wish, and that the aged care service system should include services that assist them to achieve this.
- Reciprocity and mutual benefit forms the basis of an effective service, providing dignity, autonomy and independence to both the Householder and the Homesharer as well as opportunities to enhance the lives of both.
- The service considers the needs and interests of both the Householder and the Homesharer, both as equally important once the match has been agreed. While the Householder maintains dominion over the property, both the Householder and Homesharer are equal and respected partners (rather than service recipient and service provider) in the homeshare arrangement and have rights and responsibilities to make it effective.
- Notwithstanding the above, the needs of the Householder are to be considered paramount throughout the matching process. It may be the case that the needs of some prospective Homesharers cannot be achieved if this could result in compromising this value.
- Intergenerational relationships and understanding can be fostered to the benefit of both the Householder and the Homesharer and their circle of influence and friends.
- The core premise is that an older householder or a householder with a disability, who has a spare room in their home, is professionally matched with a person of integrity. The Homesharer lives in the home rent free, although contributing to household expenses and buying their own food and consumables, and in return provides about 10 hours of practical help and support per week, companionship and the security of being in the home overnight.
- The Homeshare program may charge fees to provide this matching service. It is expected that this will balance simplicity with equity and ensure capacity to pay is not a barrier to joining the program.
- Homeshare is operated by non-profit organisations with close ties to their local community and provided by professional, skilled and experienced staff who may be assisted by trained volunteers.
- The service comprises four stages:
- Promotion and marketing
- Supporting the match.
- Older householders or householders with a disability who are able to provide adequate, well maintained accommodation; are able to live in their own home and are capable of sharing it and would benefit from the company and support the Homesharer provides.
- Homesharers who are mature adults and are interested in, and able to share a home with, an older householder or a householder with a disability and are willing to commit to the program.
- Additional choice apart from the current living and care offerings (reflecting the increasing diversity of our ageing population);
- It is care and help that is person-centred (agencies work with householders and their family and friends to achieve a match based on needs, preferences and personalities of the Householder and Homesharer);
- It helps keep older people connected to the rest of the community, including local neighbours, services, religious and social networks.