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Intergenerational Friends in Need are Friends Indeed

Could homesharing be the answer to social discovery for older generations and the answer to housing woes for the young? 

When we have covered social discovery, nearly always it’s about platforms and apps that bring like-minded and similar people together. Apps are popping up that help you find your people, who share your interest, and can be your friends in the local area. But what about apps that match you with someone at a completely different stage of life to you?

So often the news these days pits one generation against another. Baby boomer this, millennial that, whether it’s the economy or culture, generations are pitted against one another. Which is a real shame, as strong intergenerational connections are actually very beneficial to both the young and old. They bring guidance to younger people, a sense of purpose to older generations, and both can benefit practically. 

We have yet to discover a social app designed specifically to match older and younger people together for friendship, but a number of services are appearing around the world that achieve this friendship benefit, combined with a solution for housing. 

Nesterly in the US, Homeshare UK and Two Generations in the UK are examples of organisations that match lonely older people who have a spare room in their property, with younger people looking for accommodation. 

In all the services, the young people are heavily vetted, and are expected to provide some assistance around their new home. They of course receive accommodation at a cut price, but the real benefit is having somewhere safe, homely and rewarding to live. 

Those who have offered their room, gain companionship, a sense of purpose, additional income, and can stay in their homes for longer in older age, with more assistance around the house. 

Our longer live spans and intergenerational connections are somewhat unique to the human race. But they are hugely beneficial to society. Through housing, there is potentially a very compelling avenue of social discovery and social improvement that can be explored. 

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