20.08.2015

Flat sharing at 70

Image | Joyners

Sharing a flat is the first step for those who want to want to be independent. Flat sharing is an economic option for those who cannot afford to rent an entire flat, but it also offers the opportunity to experience life away from the family home by living with people who are of a similar age or have similar interests.

One of the most common ways of finding a shared flat is through websites where available rooms are advertised. Another way is to look through specific social network groups to find a flatmate; or if you’re a student you could always stroll through campus and take a look at the notice board to see if anyone has pinned a “looking for a flatmate” advert. In fact, many young people who are studying, and more and more professionals at the beginning of their career, choose to share a flat.

Young people are used to using any of these methods and can easily find a flat that is suited to their needs; however the opportunity to share a flat is not exclusively just for them. The reality is that there are many senior citizens that find themselves in an ideal situation to share a flat, because their children are already independent, and at times the house can become too big and empty for just one person. Other times, the pension they receive may not be enough to cover the rent. For these reasons, sharing a flat can prevent the feeling of being lonely and enables bills and rent costs to be shared.

How can these people get in contact with each other in order to find a flat and share it? It’s as easy as registering in Joyners, a platform that puts senior citizens who are looking for an alternative to the residential home in contact with each other. This is an ideal option for those who prefer to find someone to share a flat with at this stage of their life instead of living in a residential home for the elderly.

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This Barcelonan start-up carries out an affinity test on its users in order to calculate who would be ideal flatmates according to compatibility and co-living criteria. Joyners also takes into account each person’s needs, and it is for this reason they include various domestic services from cleaning the home and cooking and cleaning services, to adapted diets and home maintenance. This start-up even offers future tenants healthcare services and company both day and night, so that these senior flatmates never feel stranded.

The Joyners team wanted to compare their initiative to the recognised “Golden Girls”; the idea came to mind when one of the founders, De Pablo, saw that his recently retired mother lived in a nice big house, but her pension was not enough to maintain the house and she was forced to rent it or sell it. However, his mother came up with the idea of contacting a few of her friends that were in a similar situation to see if they wanted to move in with her, and therefore share the bills and keep each other company. This is Joyner’s initial ideal which is based on offering a personalised option to each user in an economic and social way.

Joyners was selected by Conector, an accelerator for start-ups, and won several competitions such as the Moritz CREC, where the winning project is given the opportunity to enjoy a year of collaborating with the centre. In this case, the judges valued the fact that this start-up facilitates the daily life of senior citizens, by offering an effective, practical and complete solution.

In a stage of life as special for the elderly, it is more important than ever to enjoy the daily company of like-minded people, and feel safe and cared for in a friendly environment. These new ways of living undoubtedly bring vitality and freedom to the life of these tenants.