Roommates

Ina

Well-known Member
I have been living alone since my husband died last December, and I have no family interested in my daily life. I have been thinking of getting a roommate, but I have heard some pretty horrible stories concerning this issue.

I have no other way of getting advice on this, or for that matter, on any issue. In the past, I have received a lot of good advice from this forum, so here I come again, asking for your opinions.
 

Ina, I have heard both positive and negative things about having a roommate. No guarantees for sure. However, I know of two
friends now widowed who have found sharing their homes to be very beneficial. In my own family, my mother happily shared her home for decades.
 

Lon

Well-known Member
Ina, we live alone under different circumstances but in my case I would not want a room mate under any circumstances. What would be your main reason for considering it?
 

I live alone, too (well, except for my sweet pitbull Bonnie). I don't think I'd be comfortable living with someone, especially someone I didn't know really, really well. I do know of people who have tried the roommate thing and have had a terrible time getting rid of the person when it didn't work out. For me, I'd rather just live alone than have to learn to deal with someone else's idiosyncrasies. But then, that's just me.
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
I think first you need to determine why you want a roommate.

Companionship? Someone to go places with (dinner, events, etc.)?
Or someone to share costs but be independent/on their own?

Know who you are opening your home to.
Pay close attention to post #21 in this thread:

https://www.seniorforums.com/showthread.php/16744-Are-you-would-you-be-a-landlord/page2?highlight=Pacific+Heights

Decide on the financial arrangement and PUT IT IN WRITING!
Do you have homeowner's insurance?
Rent, security, utilities (including cable, internet)?
Food – each buy their own or share?
Kitchen privileges – any rules regarding use of appliances/dishes, etc.?
Laundry – is use of washer/dryer included?
What about cleaning responsibilities?
Any rules/preferences regarding music/TV, visitors, mail, newspaper, phone calls….anything else? There should be no surprises later.

Again:
Know who you are renting to.
Put everything in writing.
 

Ina

Well-known Member
Original Poster
Thank you Shalimar, Butterfly, and AC. Shalmar do you know what criteria your mother worked from? I have no idea what to look for in a roommate. I know getting along is only part of it. I own my own home, and my finances are shuficient, but the loneliness is a big problem. I only get out about once a week, mainly because I find it uncomfortable doing everything alone. There's no one to go anywhere with, and when I go places alone, everything seems a bit of a waste of time for me. It's dull.
 
Ina, I don't know all the ins and outs of what my mother's criteria were, and she is gone now. However, I know that they were
both professional women with similar social, political and Christian views, although my aunt was fundamentalist and mother

wasn't. They loved animals and gardens. In some ways they were very different, the roommate was English, mother Canadian,

one more outgoing than the other. They seemed to compliment each other. They shared household expenses, although the house was my mother's. They divided chores between them. Mutually independent, they lived like a family. Little changed after

they retired. I don't know if this is at all helpful. Originally, they met by chance at a function.
 

RadishRose

SF VIP
Location
CT USA
Ina, it sounds like you're interested in having a roomate mostly because you feel so lonely. I don't think getting a roomie in that case will be easy.

Most people looking for a roommate situation do it for financial reasons and if good friendship happens, so much the better, but that's not the usual.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

I
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
Ina, how about checking online for clubs, organizations, senior groups in your area where you can interact with others who have the same interests and make friends? How about doing volunteer work (hospitals, libraries, food pantries, etc.) This would be better than actually allowing someone to move into your home.

Taking in a roomer/tenant is a business arrangement.
 

imp

Senior Member
Consider Carefully

Ina, I am not an advice-giver, generally. However, your plight strikes home for me, as my wife & I discuss the very possibility you face. Be very careful what information you reveal to any potential room-mate, about yourself. In my opinion, if one could find a candidate who was in the same boat as yourself, or possibly someone seeking a somewhat closer existence together than "room-mates", that person would be a possible candidate. Just sayin', be very cautious. imp
 

Linda

Senior Member
Ina, I think I would be a lot like you are if I lived alone. I've never enjoyed doing things outside the home by myself. I do like my space at home though. I know it can be very hard to get rid of someone if it doesn't work out. I would be concerned about getting a roommate then their kids or boyfriends or other friends coming over, I would hate that! I know there are some that work out but it's going to be hard to predict ahead of time. Let us know how it works out for you.

 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
I agree with Linda, I thought about that too, if the person has a boyfriend that's always over and spending the nights, or a controlling ex-husband, might have some baggage that you're suddenly stuck having to deal with. I'd have a hard time trusting someone to live in my home with me, I think if my husband ever passed on, I'd prefer just doing things with a friend outside of my home, and keeping my privacy and security.

There are, as mentioned before, senior centers and activities, where you might just click with someone and spend a lot of time with them, without having them live with you. Of course, it's a personal decision for you Ina, but please be very careful not to give out too much information about yourself at first, and if possible, run some kind of a background check on any potential roomies.

Can't be too careful these days, I've heard a lot of bad stories of folks getting "taken" by a roommate that seemed nice at first, then just used them or tried to steal money from them, etc. I'd have to sleep with one eye open for a long time I think, before I felt comfortable with a roommate. If it was someone I was friends with for many years, and knew how she was and the people involved in her life, then it may be a different story...a more trusted person to live with.
 

Laurie

Senior Member
Location
Kingdom of Fife
Most importantly it must not be stranger.

Perhaps a friend who is in a similar position.

If you don't have one then make some, through social activity. Then, once you get to know them better start firming up your plan.

Either way, it must be carefully considered, not a spur of the moment decision.

Try to put up with your present circumstances for at least six months.
 

GeorgiaXplant

Well-known Member
Location
Georgia
If you belong to a church, maybe ask your pastor? Or if your area isn't too rural...that is, too far away from a town of moderate size at least...check out the "Meet Up" groups online and go to a couple that might interest you. Maybe there's a widow's group or a group of widows/widowers who get together just for the social aspect. If you meet people who seem to be of like mind, get to know them FIRST before mentioning anything about the possibility of a roommate. I'd also vet anybody by checking them out online. References? Anybody giving personal references is only going to give names of people who are going to vouch for them, of course, so while I wouldn't discount references, I'd check those people out, too.
 

Ken N Tx

Older than Dirt !
Location
Texas
Ina, how about checking online for clubs, organizations, senior groups in your area where you can interact with others who have the same interests and make friends? How about doing volunteer work (hospitals, libraries, food pantries, etc.) This would be better than actually allowing someone to move into your home.

Taking in a roomer/tenant is a business arrangement.
I agree with Linda, I thought about that too, if the person has a boyfriend that's always over and spending the nights, or a controlling ex-husband, might have some baggage that you're suddenly stuck having to deal with. I'd have a hard time trusting someone to live in my home with me, I think if my husband ever passed on, I'd prefer just doing things with a friend outside of my home, and keeping my privacy and security.

There are, as mentioned before, senior centers and activities, where you might just click with someone and spend a lot of time with them, without having them live with you. Of course, it's a personal decision for you Ina, but please be very careful not to give out too much information about yourself at first, and if possible, run some kind of a background check on any potential roomies.

Can't be too careful these days, I've heard a lot of bad stories of folks getting "taken" by a roommate that seemed nice at first, then just used them or tried to steal money from them, etc. I'd have to sleep with one eye open for a long time I think, before I felt comfortable with a roommate. If it was someone I was friends with for many years, and knew how she was and the people involved in her life, then it may be a different story...a more trusted person to live with.
Most importantly it must not be stranger.

Perhaps a friend who is in a similar position.

If you don't have one then make some, through social activity. Then, once you get to know them better start firming up your plan.

Either way, it must be carefully considered, not a spur of the moment decision.

Try to put up with your present circumstances for at least six months.
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facebook-dislike-button (Custom) - Copy (Custom).png..on roommate...
 

Sunny

SF VIP
Location
Maryland
The above advice is all good. I have been alone for 5 1/2 years now, after 54 years of marriage. It does take some adjustments, but I find that I enjoy my privacy, and being alone in the house doesn't bother me at all. I do have plenty of people in my life from friendships and activities.

Have you considered moving to a retirement community? A good one has tons of people and activities, and all sorts of support groups, without having to move someone into your home. And if you do decide to do it, follow Laurie's advice in the note above. Don't advertise for, or take in, a stranger!
 

Ina

Well-known Member
Original Poster
Thank you all for the sound advice. My life has always been wound up in taking care of those in my family, now they are all gone, and I find myself rudderless.

I think I'll take all of ya'll's advice, and just give it more time. I have only been by myself for 10 months, and you are probably right, more time and thought needs to go into such a decision.

Maybe there is a reason for me to live alone, and I just don't see it yet. Maybe I'm meant to bug you guys for a bit. :hide:
 

applecruncher

SF VIP
Location
Ohio USA
No bother at all, Ina. I do hope you'll look into getting out and maybe volunteering (I think you'd be good at that) or joining a group. Meeting a couple friends with similar interests to pal around with would be so much better than getting into a roommate situation.
 

AprilT

Well-known Member
Ina, I've nothing really better to add, you received some really great info, some I myself would heed, if ever I get tempted again in the future to room with someone I barely know. I've had roommate situations, most all worked out quite well, but, as in the advice, they were people I knew pretty well before hand in the one or two instances where that wasn't the case, I know for sure in those instances I got lucky, as I've heard some not so great stories in such instances of taking on roommates of unfamiliar persons. I would go with the advice that has been passed on to you from the members here it is very sound advice.
 
Ina, it sounds like you are actually more looking for a friend than for a roommate. Finding a roommate doesn't mean you'll necessarily find a friend. Maybe you need to get out a bit and find some like minded souls to pal around with -- senior centers, church, volunteering are all great ways to find friends -- and you get to keep your private space private.
 

Ameriscot

SF VIP
Ina, hope you discover what is best for you. And you can go ahead and 'bug' us any time! :)

Personally, I would not want any roommates. If I'm widowed I will live alone.
 

IKE

Well-known Member
I would never consider a roommate because I like my privacy too much and I don't care to have my daily routine disrupted.

To me if would be like having company stay over for a couple days......you know how you're happy to see them when they arrive but you're always REAL happy when they leave, with a roomy your stuck with them.
 

Ken N Tx

Older than Dirt !
Location
Texas
I would never consider a roommate because I like my privacy too much and I don't care to have my daily routine disrupted.

To me if would be like having company stay over for a couple days......you know how you're happy to see them when they arrive but you're always REAL happy when they leave, with a roomy your stuck with them.
We meet up with friends at local restaurants for coffee and settle the world's problems..We also travel around to small town places and meet up..

McD's also is a good place to meet new friends between 8 and 10..
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