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By Deb Knox

Co-founder of Tucson Home Sharing

  Blog: Part 1


Change in general can be overwhelming, but when you are considering how, where, when and with whom to live, know that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.  Most older adults prefer to age in place. For home providers, home sharing can be a reliable resource for companionship and help with chores and/or additional income.  For home seekers, there is an opportunity to share a space with another by providing service or cash as two can live more economically and sustainably than one. 


But like all life changes, it isn’t so easy, is it?  I like thinking of change in terms of stages, as it takes some of the angst out of having to do it all at once.  


The stages are as follows: 

1. Anticipation  

2. Preparation  

3. Decision-making 

4. Arriving/Settling In

5. Dealing with Differences 

6. Ending the relationship




Anticipating a home sharing experience is full of excitement, fear and wondering “Is it right for me? Is it right with this particular person I’m considering? Or maybe I just remain alone until …  Until what?  You fall and can’t get out of bed, or … ?”


Finally the pros for sharing a home with another person outweigh the cons and you are ready to take the next logical step to find out more.  According to Tucson Home Sharing, there are some essential steps to take to ensure a compatible relationship.





To start the process, attend an informational Public Gathering by Zoom or a Live session presented twice a month by Tucson Home Sharing, and complete the Home Sharing Self-Assessment Questionnaire provided.  Next, the most important activity is to write down the results of that Assessment about what you have to offer to a home sharer. (e.g., a clean room with private bath, and sufficient personal and/or storage space). The home seeker needs to be clear on what she brings to the table too, such as a willingness to garden or help with kitchen chores or shopping as an exchange in service or cash. Home sharing is about meeting mutual needs as well as being clear on what you can’t live with or without.  (Must Haves and Can’t Live Withs).


Other steps in preparation include writing up your offering and posting it for others to see. This is the time to notify your family, friends and others in your network about plans and how they can help you get the word out.  

Be prepared to overcome any objections and help them realize this is the choice you are making now at this stage of your life. Then, be bold and take the leap!





This is when the going can get rough, or you might just be lucky enough to meet someone the first 15 minutes after you post your ad, and suddenly, several weeks later, you are all moved in. The Self Assessment survey provides you with tools and information to thoughtfully interview any prospective home-mate with the desire of finding a “good fit.” Only you and the other person will know what that is, and how exciting, empowering and scary that can be!


Conducting your interviews and recording your responses (legibly in writing or in your soul) will help you to process and refine your criteria and your search.  Posting ads in places where like-minded people are found helps expand the search beyond immediate friends. You’ll want to conduct several interviews before actually meeting in person, and later visiting the home and meeting face-to-face.  


To be continued next month, the following 3 stages: Arriving/settling In, Dealing with Differences, Ending the Relationship




By Deb Knox

Co-founder of Tucson Home Sharing

Blog: Part 2


Arriving/Settling In

When the furniture arrives you first set up your private space. Previous conversations have assured you there is a place for your furniture in the common space. Home providers need to accommodate the arrival and make sure the home sharer feels welcome. Home seekers frequently bring with them objects, including pots and pans, and chairs and lamps that need

a new space for sharing. Is there enough room on the fridge for those favorite magnets?

The entire process of moving in is essential to really getting to know one another’s likes and dislikes and to have conversations that communicate each other’s values. Some familiar with the process suggest a two-week trial period. Since home sharers are building a foundation for the future, be sure to listen carefully and be as clear as possible in your responses.

Settling In

How will you manage your first meal? Who cooks, who shops, cleans, etc.  Hopefully you have already had this conversation; now, you put it to the test. If early decisions aren’t working, change them.


Dealing with Differences

Dealing with differences becomes easier the longer you live with another.  Good communication skills (especially listening) and anticipating the others wants and needs, can become almost routine as you share your life, time and space together (if that is what you want!) Remember, all home sharing relationships are unique!  An example is when I moved in with Sharon, I brought with me a handmade coffee table that I really loved. Sharon already had a coffee table and so the question: which one would be a part of our home together? The choice of whose coffee table would adorn the living room was made by Sharon, my wise home provider, who noted “If I win this game, I can end up in an assisted living facility with my coffee table

wedged in with all my other furniture.”


Ending the Arrangement

Sooner or later one of you will probably have a health-related issue or change in family relationships, that can change the dynamics of how you live together. Or maybe another family member moves in as a last resort and won’t be moving out. How will you handle that ending? Knowing in advance (and recording it as part of your original Household Agreement) can help you keep your eyes open for other options while enjoying all the benefits of sharing a home and your life with another person.

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According to AARP’s most recent polls, most older adults have a strong preference to age in place in their own homes and communities. Have you ever considered sharing your home? What would be your main reason for thinking about sharing your home with a compatible person and why even consider it? 


There are several good reasons, but here’s my take… once you get clear on this motivator, the whole process (and it is a process) gets a lot easier.  Those of us who believe in and follow the wisdom of visualization know it’s never too late to experience more joy, peace and gratitude.  After all, aren’t those some of the life experiences we longed for that brought us to this point in life?


After a few years of exploring the art of home sharing, I’ve come to realize there are four basic reasons to experience it. Knowing which of these reasons is your key motivator is the first step in moving ahead on this journey, though the others will still provide their own rewards.


Financial Savings - What will you do with the extra money you save? Some like to travel, others may feel more financial security and be able to give to children or friends.  What you charge, and whether it is an exchange of service or fees is your decision to make.  Tucson Home Sharing (THS) can help you get a handle on this. 


Safety - If not now, at some time you may need a little personal help or assistance with chores around the house.  The worst case scenario is picturing yourself lying alone on the floor for one, two or even three days.  If you don’t have your end of life planning documents in place, be sure to put your decision about where and how you want to live into the mix, creating more safety for yourself by aging in the right place at home.  


Companionship  How’s your social network?  Maybe a few friends have died, or moved away, and your children are not nearby, even if they are in the same town.  What would you like companionship for? Consider having breakfast with your home sharer and talking about your day or planning an activity together later in the week. Perhaps sharing one meal a week sounds like fun while still keeping your privacy when you want or need it most.


Adventure - It is never too late to make a big change for great rewards, personally, interpersonally, spiritually, etc.  Sharing your home with another can truly be an adventure, meeting their friends, finding what you like to do together, being more comfortable taking day trips and eating foods you’ve never eaten before.


Tucson Home Sharing Inc. has been in existence since 2019 promoting the benefits of home sharing and guiding people toward creating and sustaining long-term home sharing relationships.  If you’d like to learn more, please consider attending one of our FREE Zoom or LIVE Public Gatherings from 1-2 PM on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month (except August). Email to request an invitation.  Learning more about your likes, dislikes, preferences and priorities for home sharing will continue after the meeting when you complete the Self-Assessment Questionnaire about what’s most important to you in a home sharing relationship. We invite you to let us help you take the next steps in the process. 



Deborah Knox

Co-founder of Tucson Home Sharing

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