Dear Family Resource,
For the last 40 years, my mom has met weekly with a group of friends to play bridge and socialize. They started with 8 women but over the last several years 3 have died. The group has been friends through raising children, divorces, deaths of spouses, and happy times too.
Now they want to move in together! My mom says it makes sense because sharing one home will be less expensive, and they will provide company and support for each other as they age. It sounds nice… but complicated. What happens if one of them starts needing more help or what if the women’s families have different ideas about their place in the arrangement? Can this idea work?
Dear Roomie’s Daughter,
In a way an arrangement like this makes a lot of sense; being able to age at home while sharing expenses with friends sounds great. However, you’re right; it is complicated and there are many things to consider like how to manage expenses and household responsibilities, how families would be involved, how different opinions and problems will be resolved, and what happens when the roomies grow older and their care needs change.
If your mom and her friends are serious about such an arrangement, I recommend that they hire an elder care attorney and a care manager to help sort through all the issues and come to a mutual and legal agreement. Another option your mom and her friends might consider is looking for a senior living community they can move into together, either as roommates or in separate apartments. They could share meals and spend time together without all the complications.