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roommates

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by sensing progress, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    Hey all, just wanted to get some opinions. I am trying to find a roommate. I wonder how upfront you think I should be with prospective renters. Should I tell them right away that I have a chronic illness (CFS/ME)? That I work from home and am around the house most of the time?

    I have also considered trying to find an arrangement where my roommate does the cooking/cleaning and I pay part (or all) of his/her rent. Has anyone done this? I think it would be very helpful for me, but I just don't know how to go about looking for such a person.

    Any comments appreciated!
     
  2. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    I think you should definitely tell a potential roommate that you are home most days & work from home & you are looking for someone who might be able to take over some household chores & cooking, in return for lower rental share.

    If they are a social butterfly, they probably won't be interested in sharing with you.

    Find out their hobbies & interests, because this may (or may not)indicate what type of person they are. A sports lover or gym junkie is not likely to be around much to cook for you. A super healthy person might not be able to understand why you can't do some things or improve your health.

    I'd go for someone who likes cooking & is neat & tidy in appearance (which might indicate their living habits) & is a big reader (might indicate someone who is content with peace & quiet during their out of work hours).

    Of course you can't always tell by appearances. But usually someone who is a bookworm, is often relatively quiet in their home habits.

    If you're vegetarian or have very specific dietary needs, then you need to find a similar person. I know a semi-vegetarian who can't stand the smell of red meat cooking. I can't stand the smell of fried take away food, or fried eggs.

    I'm obsessively neat & tidy, so couldn't stand someone who leaves dirty, smelly clothes or wet towels lying on the bathroom floor.

    You need to find someone with similar moral values & respect for you as a person. I used to share with a girl many, many years ago who borrowed my clothes when I was away for the weekend - yes, really, then she's leave them crumpled at the bottom of my wardrobe. I'd buy specific ingredients for a dinner party & come home from work to start cooking & find she'd eaten all the specially bought ingredients.

    And then the final straw came when an enormous phone bill arrive & she refused to pay for the calls to Germany (when her boyfriend was in Germany on a conference). She said the calls weren't hers. Since I didn't make the calls & I knew she talked at length to her boyfriend every night when he was in Melbourne, why would the daily calls to Germany NOT be hers.

    It was alot of money.

    She also used to drink my bottles of alcohol & not replace them. She didn't want to split food shopping expenses, she said she buy her own food (& then DIDN'T). I think that flat share only lasted a year. I lost alot of money through the "friendship".

    I used to share a house with a wonderful man, who was a very good friend. I knew he liked a drink, but didn't know he was an alcoholic. I tried to cook his favourite food for dinner to get some food into him before he opened a bottle. He'd always say "I'll just have a beer first", then would polish off several bottles in succession & then not eat at all.

    It was very sad watching a dear friend drink himself senseless most nights. My girlfriends were his friends also, & they tried to help, but eventually we parted (when the house was to be demolished for a new freeway) & after I changed jobs, we lost touch.

    I don't know how you'd go looking for a suitable person.

    I have experienced 2 unsuitable flat/house sharers - both of them friends (before we moved in together).

    I've also shared with wonderful, kind, thoughtful, respectful strangers. Maybe that was all 30 years ago when I was young & more easy going.
     
  3. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Try checking with your local senior community center/ resource center/ local low-income housing authority (ask a librarian if you aren't sure where to find them and they can help you) even if you are not a senior. There are programs which match up seniors and others with extra rooms with people who need low-rent or no-rent housing in exchange for services. Tell them you are disabled. Some of these programs screen people and will help you set up an agreement with the renter. Some services are entirely free.

    Try posting near colleges and universities and ask for RESPONSIBLE undergrads or state only grad/ prof students. (this is OK to post and is not considered housing discrimination as you are looking for a roommate and not a renter) Interview candidates, ask for refs.

    Many years before I became ill, I attended school in an urban area and applied to share a beautiful apartment in a posh side of town with an elderly woman, who I later found out was chronically ill. I would be paying rent but it was about 1/3 of what it would have been in the area. She worked out of her home and appeared to be a great lady but ultimately I did not move in with her because I was concerned that I would be asked to help her (she didn't bring this up) and since I am generally a nice person, I would feel obligated and didn't want extra responsibility. Her prior roommate was a young law student who had lived with her for 3 years and was graduating. I didn't feel comfortable asking her or the law student these questions point-blank. These are of course assumptions on my part but I would make very clear to the roommate what you expect in terms of help.
     
  4. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Concord, NH
    I would be careful, not sure if you are a man or women, but if sometimes when you are very ill, you are probably weaker than usual. I live alone, which is much easier in many regards, can keep my own schedule and do what I want, when I want.

    Just make sure the pros outweigh the cons for you!
     
  5. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    i put an ad once on craigslist asking for a roommate who would do work in exchange for very low or free rent..i had a few responses. just be careful.

    good luck
    sue
    xoxo
     
  6. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for the responses all. Actually I'm a male, age 29, and tall -- 6'3". Not worried about being taken advantage of. Just need help doing some of the everday chores that bog us all down and use our energy.

    Sue, did you end up having a roommate who did work in exchange for low rent?
     
  7. belladonna

    belladonna

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    D/FW TX
    I've had all sorts of room-mate/house-share situations, and most of the ones that went bad could have been avoided if both parties had simply been more up front about expectations and pet peeves.
    A lot of people feel that too much information will be a turn-off, and it well may.
    But you *want* to turn off that kind of person, IMO :)
    It saves time and stress if you scare 'em off early ;->

    Being "around the house" all day can be a major relationship stressor even for people with no chronic illness involvement.
    So yeah, I think that's a particularly important thing to be frank about.
    Also - if you have other environmental requirements, like noise, chemical sensitivities, food intolerances, temperature ranges, that could be an issue, too.

    I'm tempted to say that if you want to barter housekeeping for rent, you might start by looking for someone who is advertising their services as a live-in-housekeeper, and see if you can negotiate less work than they'd expect for "full time" housekeeping, in exchange for you not paying anything more than their rent. But that depends to a large extent on what the market is for housekeeping in your area.

    Please don't consider yourself immune to exploitation just because you're a big guy .
    Identity theft, financial fraud, larceny, and a whole host of other forms of victimization are gender-equal-opportunities!
    Asking someone to share your home will open you up to some of those risks regardless of your status, so please, do be careful!
     
  8. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    Where would one go to look for people that are advertising services as a live-in-housekeeper?
     
  9. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Concord, NH
    Google, local paper and Craigslist come to mind. But be cautious on the Internet!
     
  10. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Here is another strange but sometimes workable possibility: another person who has a chronic illness. I know, it sounds like the blind leading the blind, but I am currently living with another CFS patient and we are good company, understand very well when the other person is having bad symptoms, and we try to divide household work according to our strengths--one cooks, the other cleans up, share errands etc.

    The big advantage over a "healthy" person is that we understand each other's situation and that goes a long way. Also, no one swiping booze or partying all night! There have been several times when we were able to help each other through a symptom-crisis--we have a better understanding of what is going on and the best ways to deal with it.

    Maybe there is a local support group where you might connect with such a person?

    Sushi
     
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Great idea, Sushi,

    I can't think of a better way to match room mates. One really does need "understanding" and "flexibility" with CFS.
     
  12. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    This is an older thread but I am interested in finding a housemate, so I wanted to bring it up. Also in case my thoughts are useful to someone else here.

    Firstly, I am looking for a housemate or two... if anyone here is looking to move then consider writing me privately. (I can't move most likely and if I did, it has to be in this area.) The odds of you being near me already are low. I think living here would be a nice situation for someone with CFIDS/ME but only if you did not have too many allergies or sensitivities. There are things I can possibly provide and I would not expect much? You would need to have decent income or SSDI however.

    Personally I do not think a prospective roommate should be told about illness. I believe they should just think of us as tired or lazy or busy instead. If they see me tired, I would just keep making up excuses. Oh, work kept me up late last night. Or saying that I'm too busy with work to clean and cook so I need help with that. I would also say I have a bad back or that I have allergies but not that it's an illness.

    Good point that I need to tell prospective housemates about chemical sensitivities.
     

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