In Red Deer, HomeShare was started as a component of the Generations Project: Intergenerational Elder Abuse Initiative launched in July 2012 and funded by the federal government (New Horizons Senior’s Programs). The project is designed to address the risks and social factors which make seniors vulnerable to elder abuse. By matching post-secondary students with seniors living in the community, HomeShare brings the generations together and connects them to the community thereby reducing isolation and increasing security and support.
HomeShare is an affordable housing option which matches seniors (homeproviders) with college students and/or individuals (homeseekers) with a strong desire to support seniors and have a keen sense of community who assist 4 -10 hours a week with simple household tasks in exchange for reasonable accommodation. Matches are suggested based on perceived “best fit” in terms of personality, location, needs, etc. It is the decision of both the HomeProvider and the HomeSeeker whether they wish to enter into a HomeShare arrangement with one another. The HomeShare staff facilitates the application and matching process.
For the purpose of Stage One of this program, Central Alberta is defined as a geographical area that can serve students attending school in Red Deer and area or individuals screened on an individual basis to meet the criteria of supporting seniors.
In our first year we matched a nursing student with a 94 year old senior, a former RN herself. The senior was looking for someone to help her with meal preparation. Due to arthritis in her hands she was having increasing difficulty, particularly with cutting vegetables. The student was able to help her prepare meals and cut up fresh vegetables for her on a daily basis. The senior was able to share her stories as a former RN and they would discuss how much things have changed.
This past year we had a 1st year engineering student who was able to help a 74 year old senior with yard work and snow removal over the course of the school year. In this case, the student was also able to learn some valuable cooking tips from the senior.
We have also had a 1st year nursing student help a senior become more computer savvy. This HomeShare arrangement has worked out so well that the student and the senior have extended their agreement into next year.
HomeShare IS NOT a rental service or emergency housing.
HomeShare IS NOT for individuals with substance abuse problems.
HomeShare IS NOT for Seniors requiring extensive homecare support – Homeseekers do not provide personal/medical care needs.
For more information, read our FAQ document.
You can contact:
Monica Morrison, Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre
Red Deer, AB, T4N 3R4
403-343-6074 ext. 107(w)