For the established retiree, aging in place is a wonderful way to spend your retirement in the home you love surrounded by the neighborhood and community you’re familiar with. However, one of the requirements to maintain your independence is the ability to take care of things by yourself. Of course this doesn’t have to mean clearing the gutters, emptying the attic, or even giving Spot a bath on your own, it simply means you are responsible for making sure it gets done. While you could hire a costly home care agency to help you with all these tasks, modern tech-savvy individuals of all ages are getting help from their neighbors through the sharing economy instead.
1) Dog Walking and Care – Rover
Many elderly people appreciate the company and companionship of a furry friend or two in the home. It gives you someone to spend time with, take care of, and keeps the house from acquiring that ‘too empty’ feeling in the evenings. However, as you get older it gets harder to do all the bending and crouching that thorough pet care takes. Naturally, you still want your fur babies taken good care of and the sharing economy is more than happy to help. Through services like Rover, you can hire a helpful local young person to come to take care of your dog in the home and/or walk them a few times each week. If, on the other hand, you have a lot of extra time and energy on your hands, you could also list yourself as a walker or pet sitter for others.
2) Rooms for Let – Airbnb
One of the most common things to do with a big house that your adult children have moved out from is to rent out the spare bedrooms. Often retirees will find some joy in hosting local students and working tenants in a boarding house fashion as a way to bring in a little extra money and fill up the house with people who need a cozy place to stay. However, if you want to skip the landlord hassle of leases and tenants, you can rent to vacationers by the night instead through the help of Airbnb and other similar services. You’ll meet families, couples, and independent travelers who need to stay with you for all sorts of interesting reasons.
3) Parking for Let – ParqEx
Renting rooms in your home isn’t the only way you can make a little pocket change on all your extra space. If you have a spare parking space in your driveway, garage, or a designated space near your home where it’s always safe to park, you can actually rent this out too through a handy app called ParqEx. This way, people on road trips or staying with relatives nearby won’t have to worry about where to park or risk getting towed by making the wrong decision and you get a little reward every time someone rents your parking space. The best part? It’s a parking space so it doesn’t even need to be cleaned between guests.
4) House Care – Handy
Keeping a big family home clean is a very common challenge for retirees aging in place. While your energy and scrubbing power is in decline, the house stays the same size. Fortunately, you don’t have to book with an impersonal maid service, you can hire neighbors through the sharing economy instead. Handy and TaskRabbit are incredibly helpful house care services that offer everything from home cleaning to interior painting. Through these local handy-persons, you can not only arrange for weekly cleanings, you can also ask them for help with maintenance and repair, redecorating, or preparing for family visiting on the holidays.
5) Getting Around – Uber
If for some reason or other you are no longer up to the task of driving a car through traffic, you don’t have to give up on getting around. You can still book doctor’s appointments and go to your grandchildren’s recitals just as you would if you could drive yourself with the help of one of the many sharing economy taxi services like Uber or Lyft. Through this method, you can schedule a pickup and drop off to and from almost anywhere at any time and a friendly local will pick you up in their car and take you where you need to go. No favors from relatives or dirty taxi cabs need to be involved.
6) Shopping and Errands – Postmates
Finally, we know that some days you have a busy agenda and don’t have the time or energy to take care of everything. There are many courier and delivery services from Postmates to DoorDash ready to bring you take-out, do your grocery shopping, and even pick up odds and ends from the hardware store or farmers market. If you can explain how to do a task and are willing to pay for the time, some eager young sharing economy participant will be happy to take care of it for you and bring the results to your door. You can even use them to make deliveries to your nearby friends and relatives.
Aging in place has always been a special set of challenges but there’s no denying that its getting easier. With locals only a few clicks away from bringing you groceries, caring for your pet, cleaning and maintaining your home, or taking you where you need to go, there’s no longer any need to fret or lean too heavily on your nearest relatives. Independence is all about knowing where to get what you need when you need it. For more great sharing economy tips and tricks, contact us today!