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Old 04-25-2014, 05:20 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,186 posts, read 1,341,203 times
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
Yes a shared bathroom is considered by many as a hassle and in family homes of today we have multiple bathrooms, each for one family member. Yet for many of us, we grew up with one bathroom shared by even larger families of the past.

So, our own bathroom has become an entitlement in our minds but is a shared bathroom all that difficult to accept if one needs economical housing. I can well remember the shared bathrooms of dormitories and Army barracks as well as my large family in the little house of my youth with one bathroom. I accepted that arrangement and it was not all that bad but perhaps I was young and now that we are older we expect and demand more.
Yes, a shared bathroom when one is older can be a problem... not trying to be gross, but sometimes an older person can't hold it long enuf to wait their turn like a youngster.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:25 PM
20,717 posts, read 13,734,475 times
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I almost forgot a period in my history. I was a chef at hotels. I remember one where there was an elderly resident who lived there for years. In the very large hotels in NYC, it is common to have permanent residents and some are notable persons. Some of the wealthy permanent residents would actually have a number of hotel residences and would move back and forth to Florida or Europe as to the Riviera--for the weather or to attend to the social seasons. Of course, this is not a budget boarding house but you can think of them as boarding houses for the wealthy.

At least one hotel resident did very well for himself: Hotel hermit got $17M to make way for 15 Central Park West | New York Post

General MacArthur's son lived in the same place (Mayflower Hotel) and also took a substantial payout to move. He simply purchased a condo in the same area of Central Park West.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:34 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
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Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
I'd rather be dead than share my living space. I want my own home with my own kitchen and bathroom where I can live a private life with my pets and possessions.

The places described in this thread don't seem much different from typical living space in the Soviet Union. They had communal kitchens and bathrooms as well as roomers indiscriminately assigned to any apartment considered too large for the number of residents.
In the mid-19th Century before the rise of the middle class, boardinghouse life was the norm for many in American cities. Working-class people were on the move with their jobs. Typically school teachers and other young professionals not wealthy lived in boardinghouses. Marriage usually brought some kind of settling down in a house of some kind to raise families. The poor never made it out of urban tenements. It changed the whole landscape of society, not always for the better, when nonrural folks went gung-ho for themselves. Living rural was for farming/sustainable community purposes, not to escape society. The gold rush was an interesting era for boardinghouses.

Boardinghouses and Hotels in 19th Century America
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:41 PM
Location: Columbia SC
8,947 posts, read 7,729,944 times
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I lived in a boarding house for a time in Brookline, MA, in 1974. It was exactly as live content describes, and quite a cast of characters. At the time, in the very nice urbane town of Brookline, there were a lot of old Victorians that were boarding houses. But then real estate zoomed again and again, and they are all built over/converted/rehabbed. The house I lived in was a few houses down from JFK's birthplace. The olden days! When people were supposedly fleeing the city.

One resident was a teenager who'd run away from home in Maine and ate ice cream for all meals. There was a couple just returned from the Peace Corps. There was an Italian guy who gave haircuts like a salon in his room. Probably would have made a good reality TV show or something.

A long time ago.
Deja vu. I lived in such a place in Lexington MA for a year in the mid 60's after my divorce. Big old house near downtown. Shared kitchen, coin laundry room, TV room, and full bath on the first floor. Second floor had 4 bedrooms and one bath. Third floor had two bedrooms, one bath. I lived on the 2nd floor. There were two young, high tech guys like myself. An older, alcoholic ex-beauty queen. An older man that represented the owner and collected the rents plus did maintenance. A young pretty girl who was a maid at a local motel down the street. I became somewhat friendly with her when her older married boy friend was not around. She was my first introduction to such a situation meaning a young girl with an older married boy friend. I asked her why. She replied because I love him. It was a cast of characters with some coming and going. I traveled in my job so I was not home all the time so it worked out quite well for me.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:20 PM
Location: too far from the sea
19,830 posts, read 18,839,234 times
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Are most people on this forum from Massachusetts? Sometimes it seems so.

Some of these situations sound like housemate setups. I did that in college and it was awful. The inconsiderate room mates, the mess in the kitchen, the room mate would wouldn't pay the rent on time.

If you're going to think of living in a boarding house maybe go one tier higher and get into subsidized housing. Not in Massachusetts but some people have said that in their states the housing is not so bad. If you could get an apartment that is bigger than 400 square feet, and is well maintained and doesn't have rules saying you can't plant a flower and so on, it could be a decent solution. You can often have a pretty good income and still qualify and they limit you to $2000 in savings BUT if you have more savings they will take a % of it each year. So you can have savings, although the feeling of having it eaten away instead of growing can't be a good feeling.
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:09 PM
Location: Hampstead NC
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I've actually been thinking about this also!

I'm hoping to move to a co-housing community when I sell my house in a few years.

But I am thinking that instead of moving to a retirement community after that, I'll buy a house that I can live in, rent extra rooms out to other old people who are not interested in living alone but too healthy for assisted living. If we have to hire a caregiver to come in, we will. Like Golden Girls, we'll have social activities, sit around in our bathrobes and play cards late at night.

I'd buy a B and B to make this happen, but we may need to look for a single story home that will be handicapped accessible.

I miss living in a college dorm, where you could have people around or go close your door. I was lonely when it was just me and my husband, lonely when he left, and will certainly be lonely again when my kids graduate. If I get married again, I might still be lonely! And I assume I'll outlive him, because women live longer........so why not create a living environment that works for me?
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:40 AM
38,118 posts, read 14,894,548 times
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Many cities have Board & Lodge facilities that house people with mental health disabilities. These are often older hotels or rooming houses, with bathrooms down the halls and central kitchens/dining rooms. Staff prepare meals, administer medications, provide transportation to medical appts. The residents are free to roam, watch TV, read, meet with the case manager or do whatever as long as they don't cause any trouble. Sometimes residents are paid small amounts to help with the cooking and cleaning.

In MN, B&L facilities are reimbursed about $1500/month for each resident. Generally, the residents are on SSDI or SSI and the state keeps that to cover a portion of the cost of the B&L. Each resident gets a small weekly amount of personal spending money, under $30/week last time I heard.

I have relatives who lived in a retirement community that consisted of duplexes and a large complex of studio type apartments. Meals were served in "the big house." People had to be mobile and had to manage their own cares including medications. It was safe, and nice. About $2,000/month for a room and three meals a day and this was several years ago.

There were also a mansion that a woman had turned into an upscale B&L facility. Everyone had their own room and had to be able to manage stairs. She served a substantial breakfast, afternoon tea, and then a light evening meal. The older women who lived there seemed to enjoy each other's company as well as living in a mansion. Eventually, it closed down as the owner was not making enough to cover the cost of repairs.

Many states are encouraging people to expand their own homes and turn them into group homes for the elderly. This often involves a wing with four or six bedrooms and several handicap accessible bathrooms. The original home is used by the couple/family who own the place and the kitchen, dining room, and living room is shared space. Usually, they provide medication management, meals, transportation to medical appts. and 24 hour supervision. This generally runs about $4,000/month and up.

So even though B&L situations are available, they are not what I would term more affordable options than living alone. Of course, some of the cost is due to the care provided and it could be less expensive if all you were getting was a room and one meal a day.

Last edited by GotHereQuickAsICould; 04-26-2014 at 05:51 AM..
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:53 AM
38,118 posts, read 14,894,548 times
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Short, informative article on Board and Care homes in California.

Residential Care Homes (aka Board and Care Homes)
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:59 AM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,325,793 times
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Some articles on SROs (Single Room Occupancy):



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Old 04-26-2014, 10:11 AM
5,090 posts, read 13,543,532 times
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Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Some articles on SROs (Single Room Occupancy):



Very good post. Cannot give you more reps but this worth many. I had no idea about this term or the legislation involved. I remember this type of housing when I lived in NYC.

That is somewhat the idea that I trying to make with Boarding Houses to look at other options of affordable housing that satisfies basic needs.

I am very much surprised by the people who shared their experiences in living in boarding homes. It is so interesting to hear these histories.

Some have said they will never consider these types of housing because they want more privacy, more space and cannot live with others or share common facilities. I also have some reservations as I have lived alone for years.

One of my little advantages of life is that I have my own washer and dryer and to share those appliances, as I have done in the past, is not what I would want to do again. I never have a need to wait for a dryer or a washer. I have not gone to a laundromat in years. I will admit that when I was young in college, a laundromat was a good place to meet girls. I pretended to be a lost boy who did not know how to do my laundry; I got the attention of those cute girls with their mother instinct...please, can you just show me... Do you think that will work again as old man...perhaps I will try to visit a laundromat and stumble over my laundry--it could be love at the dryer!

However, we are not having a discussion about many of our wants and desires and what we dislike, we are having a discussion to look at affordable options for those who have that need. It is well to point out these problem. Yet, it is not only our distaste that should always apply but whether it fits a need for for other at some stage in their lives. It does not have to be their whole lives; it could be the young need a place to live cheaply when they relocated or it can be a need for an elderly person of limited means to avoid loneliness after their mate dies. It could be that some are satisfied with simple wants and simple needs and have simple desires, whether they have funds or not.

Now on to the laundromat...yea, Saturday's a good day. Got to pick a place where those woman go...got to look a little disheveled and lost...where is my dirty laundry...let see...I am getting excited...


Last edited by livecontent; 04-26-2014 at 10:22 AM..
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