Support, guidance & advice for todays primary carers
My mother was in her early 60’s when my father passed away. She was living alone in a four-bedroom home in country NSW.
There are four siblings in our family. Apart from one brother and his family who live in the same town, we were all scattered across the country with our own families and jobs.
My mother was fairly healthy, mobile at the time, and loved being social. She was friendly with the people in the local town and was well respected. As the years passed, her friends began to pass away or move on. With most of us living interstate, we’d visit when we could but it was never enough. Most of the burden was on my sister-in-law for whom I’m most grateful. In hindsight, if we could have had someone share the house with her, that one small addition could have made a huge difference.
This is the story of many older people aging at home. Loneliness increases their mental decline. Elderly people are at greater risk of harm as their routines make their activities very predictable. They spend more time online which puts them at risk of being scammed or defrauded. But if they’re not ready for a retirement village or assisted living, they’re not left with many choices other than NDIS services.
If you’re the primary carer for an elderly parent, it can put a huge strain on you and your family. Commonly known as the Sandwich Generation, you’re caught between caring for your own children and your aging parents. Being a parent is tiresome. Running around after your kids, and driving them to sports activities, all whilst juggling your own full-time job can be exhausting enough. Add caring for an aged loved one and your life can become overwhelming.
Their spare bedroom could be a solution…
Did you know there are over 13.5m unused spare bedrooms in 10m homes across Australia? Many of these rooms are in households with elderly people. They don’t want to leave their family home or their memories behind, their friends live nearby and the surroundings are familiar. But what if you could use their spare bedroom to help ease the burden of care?
There is a solution!
The Room Xchange is a house-sharing platform that I founded 5 years ago after my eldest child left home. I began to see our empty spare bedroom as wasted space. One of my kids’ friends who was traveling at the time, needed somewhere cheap to stay. My husband was doing some work on our house and needed some assistance with painting. We offered him food and accommodation if he’d help us out. He agreed and The Room Xchange was born. Now eight years on, it’s become a wonderful way to live and we are now looking for our next housemate.
Today The Room Xchange is Australia’s first verified house-sharing platform. We include mandatory verification via SMS, email, and Digital iD check by Australia Post. It’s all done on the website which makes it nice and easy. Our profiles help you find someone with a similar personality, values, and lifestyle so you feel like you’re coming home to a friend. The best part is, you can decide if you want some extra income to pay the bills, or if you might need some companionship and/or help around the house. We call it the rent or rent offset option and you can offset part or all of the rent, it just depends on what you need.
How can you better use your spare bedroom?
When your elderly parent just needs companionship and some help around the home, The Room Xchange is an ideal option. (Just to be clear, we’re not talking about personal or medical care, just household help like cooking, cleaning, or gardening.) The spare bedroom is an untapped resource for the family and those who are looking for affordable and accessible housing. Just think about the knowledge and experiences that can be shared.
In regard to the process, you and your family can find a housemate on your own via our platform. We have a very useful and personalised Matching Service which is based on a ‘No Match – No Fee’ model. There is also an additional premium service that helps both parties facilitate their houseshare agreement. We also welcome your family or carer to be involved in the process.
So, if your elderly parent wants to remain in their family home for as long as they can, this is a good option. I just wish something like this was around when my mother was living on her own. Having the company would have provided her with some companionship and provided respite for my sister-in-law.
Go to: www.theroomxchange.com and register for free. We’ll then send you a link where you can book a call with one of our friendly customer care team.
Summer 2023 Out Now
Care & Ageing Well Expo Melb 2024
Carer Gateway is an Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers. Call Carer Gateway for support and access to services, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time.
Assistance with accessing emergency respite is available any time, 24/7.
Our Carer Associations partnerships puts the ACG into the hands of more primary carers
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme
Making the Decision: Is It Time for Your Elders to Move?
Live the Life You Please
Ita Buttrose – Caring, Community & Compassion