Finding Good Roommates, Wherever You May Reside

There was an article that recently appeared in the Real Estate section of the New York Observer which described a program that exists in some localities to provide senior citizens with housing arrangements other than senior assisted living facilities.

The specific example described by the article is the purview of New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, which deals in traditional senior housing as well as matching elderly apartment-seekers to subsidized housing and individual roommates in a similar stage of life.

The Observer presents the foundation as having been very successful in this endeavor, and it illustrates that fact with testimonials from a number of seniors who have made valuable social connections through the program while maintaining a level of independence that they might have feared losing through the transition to senior assisted living.

But the article also highlights the fact that especially in places like New York, shared rentals are at a premium, the demand for this service far outstrips the supply. No doubt some people remain on the waitlist for shared, independent senior housing long enough that they eventually have to bite the bullet and move into a senior assisted living or senior rehabilitation center.

Such seniors would do well to recognize that no matter whether they are transitioning to a two-person apartment or a large-scale retirement community, there are no guarantees about the suitability of the match until you’ve examined your options. Roommates can be awful whether you’re 20 or 80, and whether there is only one of them or dozens. By the same token, they can be wonderful in all the same circumstances.

It is helpful to have a support network that can match you up with people who are a good fit, but it doesn’t really matter where that match takes place. While the Observer describes a number of people who have found such a match in rent-controlled New York City apartments, the staff of a good senior housing facility can similarly introduce you to countless residents who have found kindred spirits in the context of assisted living and senior rehabilitation.