The term “roommate” has a significantly different meaning in your 50s than it did in your 20s. But no matter how your tastes or needs may change, sharing your space with someone may still bring a lot of benefits to your life. From helping with a mortgage or supplementary income, to providing companionship during changing times, having a roommate past 50 is becoming a growing trend, and for good reason.
Roommate bonding is incredibly important at any age. It’s critical to find healthy, positive activities that help you and your new roommate to get to know each other and live life to the fullest. Check out some ideas below!
Home Improvement and Crafting
There’s nothing more satisfying than restoring antique furniture, quilting a cozy blanket, or throwing a fun new color on the walls. In fact, many argue that crafting alone helps to relieve stress, and that the addition of a companion promotes team building and fellowship.
Try starting a knitting group with your roommate and a few friends, or a DIY project that you both can put your mark on. It’s a great way to let off some steam and create lasting memories through a shared process.
Volunteerism: Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations
Giving back to a charity is something that can be done at any age but can be especially profound later in life. A lot of organizations don’t just need money or supplies, any extra time that seniors or empty nesters have on their hands to donate is valuable.
What causes do you and your roommate both support? This is one way to really get to know the person you’re living with and figure out what values you share. Once the two of you have picked out a charity, you can call them directly or stop in to figure out what kind of help they need. Additionally, you can bring up any ideas you have to get the word out- fundraising for a non-profit organization is fun and rewarding (and gives you a chance to sell those scarves & sweaters your knitting group’s been working on)!
Staying active as we age is key to maintaining good health, and ultimately a better quality of life. It’s hard to stick to a routine at times, but that’s where having a companion is a blessing. Studies suggest that working out with someone you know has a positive impact on your own personal wellness habits. Through positive reinforcement, information sharing, and accountability, workout partners push you to adhere to a routine that can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
Personal trainer apps like Aaptiv help provide the structure of trainer-led exercises you can do alone or with a buddy, especially with a low-intensity program perfect for beginners or those with mobility limitations. Don’t be afraid to ask the attendant at your local gym for guidance either- they’re available to make sure you can use the facility safely!
Share a Show
Getting out and about is great, but what about those lazy days where you just don’t feel like doing anything, or during inclement weather? Finding a new show to watch together allows the two of you to fall into a comfortable routine and will ultimately bring you even closer together.
Take turns making snacks, or host weekly “viewing parties”- you can create fun themes for these that help everyone feel included.
Have you ever just wanted to get in your car, let the top down, and just drive? Road trips are incredibly cathartic by yourself, but they’re even better when you have someone to share the journey with. You can head out on a day trip or weekend getaway- the only limit is your imagination.
Mapping out the route ahead of time helps avoid unexpected detours (although this is not always the worst thing) and prepares you for the length of time you’ll be sitting in the car. Make sure to swap out drivers when one of you is fatigued- and don’t forget to stop to admire the roadside attractions!
Long term home sharing is the answer to a lot of the modern economic and psychological changes affecting the older population at large. As aging population continues to grow, so does the need for services to reflect how daily needs may change. Having a roommate eases financial burdens, and also can be a constant source of companionship, comfort, and understanding.