Christine and Margaret's story: Intergenerational homeshare
Christine and Margaret have lived in an intergenerational homeshare for over a year.
In this interview, Christine discusses the benefits of living with Margaret and what they have learned from one another.
What is your current living situation?
I am a 28-year-old woman and I have been living with Margaret, who is 84 for over twelve months. We have developed a strong friendship through living together – it is a circle of support which we both contribute to and benefit from.
How did you come to live with Margaret?
Last year, I left a stressful job to apply for a role in a company which was a better fit for me. I enjoyed the new work but after a few months I wanted a more affordable living situation.
I was looking on Spareroom and spotted the room Margaret had available. It was really good value and Margaret had a very thoughtful profile. The advert explained that Margaret was looking for someone to live with her as part of a befriending scheme.
How have you found intergenerational homesharing?
Margaret is a former head of psychology for prison services – she's a friendly, warm and interesting person. I love psychology so we have lots in common. Margaret speaks French and I also have a French background as my mum is from Guadeloupe. I’ve been keen to improve my French so it is great to be able to practice together.
I could immediately tell that Margaret and myself would be a good match because I’ve always lived in South East London and Margaret’s home is only 15 minutes from my family home. Margaret gets on really well with my mum – we've bonded over food together and have great conversations.
Margaret is visually impaired so I read to her. I’m currently reading her a book of poems written by one of my friends, we’re really enjoying talking about the poems together.
What have you learned from living with Margaret?
I hadn’t had much of an insight into older generations before living with Margaret because I didn’t grow up with my grandparents. I have really appreciated the opportunity to see another perspective on the world. Margaret has taught me a lot and I've taught her a lot too.
I've loved seeing how certain ideas have arisen in our society. You can find yourself being surrounded by only people who think like you, but now I can get insight from someone with a different experience to me.
Share and Care Homeshare is a housing service that brings together vulnerable, older or disabled householders with Sharer volunteers such as mature students, key workers, or other professionals.
The service offers a greater connection, sense of safety, supported independence and reduced loneliness for householders while offering an affordable housing option and strong, meaningful connections for Sharers in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Share and Care Homeshare has arranged hundreds of matches over the years since its foundation.
For more information visit https://www.shareandcare.co.uk/.