The rental accommodation crisis in Ireland is growing. All age groups are affected. Saoirse Sheridan’s new business, Elder Home Share, aims to help people who need accommodation and elderly people who want some company and safety.
Saoirse Sheridan is on a mission. There’s no other way to describe it. Talking to her one gets the immediate sense that her business model is rooted in social change. Ireland’s housing crisis is taking an enormous toll on people while Ireland’s health system just can’t look after a growing, ageing population – two situations that need creative intervention.
“The idea for Elderhomeshare.ie came from my personal experience,” explains Sheridan.
“Three and a half years ago I was given the notice to get out of my rented accommodation. I found I had nowhere to go. The rents are insane. I started to think about my grandmother. I had taken care of her in her home. We had such a rich and meaningful relationship, right to the end. It was a wonderful experience. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could help another elderly person, living on their own, in exchange for accommodation?”
Sheridan started home sharing with David in April 2016 and celebrated his 98th birthday with him in January 2018. During this time she also began building her business.
Both sides benefit
“There are many benefits that my business brings. It’s Dublin’s first home share service and provides peace of mind for elderly citizens to live at home by matching them with home share companions,” says Sheridan.
“It’s also alternative home support for the elderly and can work well instead of paying for live-in care at night if the homeowner does not need night time assistance. It’s not a solution to personal care but can reduce the need and expense of other care services.”