Lonely Woman, 95, Seeks Companion. Allows Random Strangers to Live With Her for 10 Yrs


Florence, 95, was a dedicated Royal Air Force pilot and a great tennis player. She was thankful to have lived a long and happy life with her husband and children.

However, her children soon grew up and moved out and her husband passed away, leaving her feeling extremely lonely.

“When you retire from work you stop using your brain, you’re not as active as you used to be and you’re bored to tears,” she said. “You are used to leading an active life and suddenly there is nothing.”

Florence was not only worried about what she would do on her own, but what she could do if something happened to her.

“My husband had died. My children had married and gone away,” she said. “In a way it was quite frightening because you don’t know if you’re going to fall, is something going to happen to you?”

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One day, Florence was reading the newspaper when she stumbled upon an ad for a “homesharing” program called Novus Homeshare.

The program paired elderly people looking for company with younger people seeking a place to live. Florence quickly signed up, eager to find companionship.

The arrangements were simple: a young person would live in her home and provide her with security and a bit of help around the house.

In exchange for about 10 hours of support a week, the “homesharer” would pay a low monthly rent.

Since signing up ten years ago, Florence has had numerous housemates and is still involved in the program today.

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Her latest “homesharer” is a 27-year-old Masters student named Alexandra. On one level, the program has allowed her to be able to study in the city of London while maintaining a reasonable cost of living.

But on the other hand, Alexandra has gained something she hadn’t truly expected: a friend and a place to call home.

“We got on like a house on fire,” Alexandra said of her friendship with Florence. “I don’t think it matters that we’re from a different generation.

“We’ve got similar interests and I enjoy hearing about the things Florence can tell me from her early life and I think she enjoys hearing about what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

And while many find their relationship to be surprising, the pair feel that they are far more than “homesharers.”

“I wouldn’t say I’m her ‘homesharer’. I would just say friends and housemates,” Alexandra said. “And we get funny looks for that, but what of it.”

And Florence is grateful for the seemingly small change that sharing her home with Alexandra has made.

“The best thing about it is somebody coming in at night, round about six o’clock,” said Florence. “That’s when my family used to come home for their dinner and to me now, to hear the key in the lock, round about six o’clock, is wonderful.”

It is so heartwarming to see such a genuine relationship between Florence and Alexandra, undefined by their 68-year age gap. What a truly beautiful story of friendship that knows no bounds.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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