Limitations & concerns

Limitations and common concerns

You have now heard many benefits that companion housing may bring you. However, with all the good, there are some limitations to consider. Let’s take a deeper look so you can better understand if companion housing aligns with your ideal lifestyle.

Home support

Much like a family, those in a companion home help each other when they are in bed with a cold or sprain an ankle. That said, housing companions are not a replacement for the support that would normally be provided by a nurse, care aide, or other professional support. However, if you require professional support, you can still live in a companion home and hire the extra support to visit as needed.

You should not expect or rely on housing companions to look after you or to work as a housekeeper in your home. Housing companions are there for social support primarily. Each person will live their own independent lives and should not be relied upon solely.

Sharing

Companion housing revolves around the concept of sharing space with others. There are many benefits to sharing, as previously discussed. However, it does require some forethought and effort to avoid conflict. This is of particular importance if you tend to be overly protective about your space and things. By working through this course’s modules and exercises, you will be prepared for life in a companion home.

Do you have special items that you do not want to share, such as your fancy espresso machine? It can create an awkward home environment when there are restrictive rules on sharing appliances. Consider how you can fairly share appliances so that everyone feels included.

Stuff

We all have ‘stuff,’ the worldly treasures we have accumulated throughout our lifetime. Living in a companion home requires everyone to adopt a more minimal lifestyle. Deciding what to keep can be a struggle. As a temporary solution, you can consider renting a storage unit so that you have time to decide. As a longer-term solution, now can be a great opportunity to downsize your possessions and live a simpler life.

Accountability

Living in a companion home requires everyone to be accountable. When sharing space with others, it is important to be aware and conscious of your actions in the home. When deciding the structure of your home, you will need to decide rules related to cleanliness, behaviour, clear communication, and fair contribution towards household chores. With this structure in place, any difficulties you have should be minimal. When everyone is aligned and accountable for their actions, the home environment works like a well-oiled machine.

Communication

Many people struggle with talking about what is on their mind. However, by completing the exercises and following the resources in this book, you will gain some insight on how to overcome this challenge. Remember, others in a companion home will be supportive of this, as clear communication is important to the success of all within the home.

Privacy

As discussed in addressing barriers, Privacy is important for all members of the household. This topic often raises concerns because there will not be enough privacy in a companion home. Discussing your needs with prospective housing companions will allow you to find others who share similar values around privacy. For instance, if you want to walk around in your underwear at home, it’s essential to understand other’s needs to feel comfortable in the home.

Concerns of hosts and guests in a companion housing living arrangement

Identifying barriers and concerns

Analysing data from thousands of Happipad’s customers’ feedback forms gives insight into the top barriers and fears people have when starting a new companion housing arrangement.

How do these relate to your concerns? How can you address or mitigate these concerns?

Privacy – Concerns about having time alone and without the distraction of others

Trust – Feeling safe in the home and around your housing companions

Compatibility – Finding like-minded housing companions

Visitors – Having friends or visitors of your fellow housing companion(s) visit the home

Drugs – Concerns that someone may be using drugs which affect their behaviour

Rent – Concerns about being able to afford the costs of rent

Culture – Concerns about living with someone from a different culture

Responsibility – Concerns about housing companions being responsible

Alcohol – Concerns about differences in alcohol consumption and habits

Party – Concerns about excessive visitors and noise

Personality – Differences in personality, making it hard to relate and connect

Generational gap – Living with an older or younger person

Differences – Having different views, beliefs, preferences, and habits

Location – Living in a central, safe, and convenient location

Exercise

What are some of your concerns and limitations that may prevent a successful companion housing arrangement?

Complete the self reflection exercise below to earn points!