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Roommates Late in Life

TV shows like The Golden Girls or Netflix’s hit Grace and Frankie make an appealing case for older, unrelated adults living their twilight years together under one roof. With a number of mental, physical, and financial benefits to such a practice, it’s no wonder that many older adults are choosing to age in place together, as roommates.

When you live alone, it means that the onus of the household and all its expenses lies squarely with you. With the cost of living rising exponentially in many parts of the country, and many boomers feeling unprepared for retirement with more debt and less savings than the generation before them, living with a roommate is a good way to lessen the burden and ameliorate expenses.

With a third of Americans over 45 reporting feeling loneliness, and a quarter of adults over 65 experiencing social isolation, living with another person is an easy and convenient way to stave off loneliness and have access to social engagement. The negative impact of sadness from isolation can actually cause physical harm, and has been linked to a higher risk of premature death, as well as conditions that greatly affect quality of life, like dementia, depression, or anxiety.

Many seniors experience poor nutrition due to a variety of effects like difficulty preparing meals, loss of appetite, or lack of motivation, but living with another person can take the edge off. Preparing meals can be a communal event, and sharing in eating them together can foster conversation and stimulation, as well as ensuring regular intake of nutritious meals.