Belfast Telegraph

I'm lonely in my big house

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

I’m 79, widowed and have lived in my home for the past 45 years.

I don’t want to leave it, even though it’s now far too big for me.

My children are nagging me to sell up and get something smaller but, although I’m lonely, I’d rather stay here.

I thought that perhaps if I looked for someone to share the house with me, it would be better, but I am worried as to how to go about finding the right person.

It’s companionship I want rather than money, so I don't think I want a lodger. I don’t know anyone who’s looking to do this but where do I start? GC

FIONA SAYS: LOOK INTO HOME HELP SCHEMES

I'd be reluctant to try advertising. If I were you, I think it would be better to try to find someone through your family and trusted friends.

They might all be settled themselves but could know of someone else, like you, who is looking for companionship.

This way you would at least be reasonably confident and assured about anyone you meet.

In some parts of the country, there are schemes called Homeshare, which arrange for a younger person to share with an older person in exchange for help.

You would have the security of knowing that the ‘homesharer' has been screened and matched carefully, and all arrangements are monitored.

Age UK has a useful fact sheet called Finding Help At Home, which you could look at on the website (ageuk.org.uk) or get from your local branch.

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