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Sydney Morning Herald story: "'It makes my life bigger': The win-win of Ricky and Josh's homesharing arrangement"


Ricky Buchanan spends her days and nights in a hospital bed in either her bedroom or living area.
She is bedridden with a severe form of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. While she has carers to help with things like cooking and cleaning, her disability makes it extremely difficult to keep in touch with the outside world.
"I can't go out anywhere," Buchanan explains. "I get really socially isolated."

Josh Van Dijk and Ricky Buchanan in Buchanan's Balaclava home.Credit:Eddie Jim
Two weeks ago, chemistry student Josh Van Dijk began living with Buchanan in her inner-Melbourne home. Van Dijk lives in a spare room, rent free, in exchange for spending time with Buchanan.

The two – who share common interests in politics, technology and the internet – talk about their days and thoughts. Van Dijk is also able to do odd jobs that carers may not be able to do, such as take Buchanan's iPhone to the Apple store to be fixed. Or buy a birthday present for a friend.
"It just makes my life bigger," Buchanan explains. "It just makes my life better in so many ways."

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