Roommates can be a good idea for seniors


August 11, 2011

When Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia shacked up together on Golden Girls, many people saw the sitcom as quirky and fun, but the fictitious living situation is becoming a reality for many older adults. Home share programs are giving seniors the chance to continue living in their own homes by matching them with other older adults. This arrangement provides aging adults with a way to continue to live independently and safely, as well as companionship.

Anna Novak, 81, recently got to see just how advantageous having a roommate can be when she slipped and hit her head in the bathroom one early morning, The New York Times reports. She called out to her 65-year-old roommate, Antimina Garmley, who also happened to be a retired nurse. Garmley helped the injured woman up, bandaged her up and drove her to the hospital.

"I used to be very down and out, worried and depressed," Novak told the Times. "And I'm not so depressed when she's here with me because I know she can do things I can't do."

The 2010 U.S. census revealed that 27 percent of adults over the age of 65 live alone, according to the news source. For individuals who are not too keen on sharing their home, medical alert systems can be a way to remain independent longer.