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Embracing “The Golden Girls Trend” in Residential Assisted Living

Baby boomers are adopting a unique strategy for addressing the cost of living and need for community. Baby boomers have developed much more independence, but rather than living alone or joining a senior community, many of these adults have sought out other seniors to share housing costs and responsibilities. These roommates, or “boommates” maintain their independence while also creating a support community that they can depend on. Residential assisted living can help address these same issues. Not all RAL homes are for those who need 24 hour caregivers present. Many RAL owners are already adopting this “Golden Girls” model and are providing a safe and affordable home for seniors to thrive that embraces their desire for independence while also supporting their need for community.

There are 70 million baby boomers with one thing in common, they need a place to live. During recent years, people over 50 have been adopting a unique way of living that works quite well for many. This new helpful trend is spiraling from an old TV series that set the tone with four saucy seniors serving up the sass. The Golden Girls are back; they’ve transformed from TV to reality. 

Residential Assisted Living National Association is helping seniors benefit from this unique living arrangement. The comical TV series finale of The Golden Girls was watched by 27.2 million viewers. As of 2016, it remained the 17th-most watched television finale. Susan Harris created the NBC network television series that aired from 1985 to 1992. All 180 episodes are available on Hulu. Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia lived together with Blanche in her Miami home. They all had unique personalities and each character was known for brilliantly delivering one-liners. “Yes, it’s the beginning of a disaster,” Dorothy said.

With 4000 senior turning age 85 every day, the new trend is for men and women to pattern their living arrangements after a popular television show.

Baby boomers are independent, but rather than living alone, they’re seeking a community approach. This could be a recipe for disaster or the perfect plan, and we have all the information you need to make this golden concept work in your favor. 

March 2018, Ronda Kaysen, of AARP wrote an article about people over 50 becoming ‘boommates’, the new term for baby boomers living together and maintaining their independence. Kaysen discussed challenges and rewards in sharing a home in older age. There are important aspects to consider when making a decision to live with people, especially strangers. If done right, these strangers usually become the kind of friends that feel like family. That’s why we’re providing proven pros and cons for seniors searching for boommates.

To help your search flow with ease, we’ve outlined critical components both homeowners and renters should know in advance. This is our Golden Girlsmodel of embracing the new trend of boommates:

  •           Sophia’s 5 Reasons Why Seniors Are Selecting Roommates;
  •           Rose’s 6 Resources for Finding Housemates; 
  •           Blanche’s Disadvantages of Boommates; and 
  •           Dorothy’s Design to Dodge Frustration.

 Sophia’s 5 Reasons Why Seniors Are Selecting Roommates

 “Maybe this is my shot of getting into the Bible,” Sophia said.

There are several reason boomers are living together. Individuals are compelled by completely different characteristic to live as housemates in their senior years. After 180 episodes, Sophia and her sitcom sisters have provided a Bible’s worth of reasons why seniors are selecting this new lifestyle. Most reasons fit into the following 5 perspectives: 

  1. Boomers are living longer independent lifestyles;
  2. Many seniors do not have enough money saved for retirement; 
  3. Housing prices are steadily rising across the country; 
  4. Countless people over the age of 50 are tired of living alone; and
  5. Many older people cannot afford a place by themselves.

Residential assisted living can help address these issues. Not all RAL homes are for those who need 24-hour caregivers. Over the next two decades, renters that are 65 and older are expected to grow by a whopping 80 percent. This means that over 11.5 million seniors will need housing, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 

Every day, seniors are searching for housing options. Many of them are in desperate need to change their current living situation – they want a community of independence, relationships and a sense of feeling connected. When we know what senior want, we are better able to accommodate their needs.

 Rose’s Resources for Finding Housemates

“I guess there’s a lesson to be learned here. Sometimes life isn’t fair kiddo,” Rose said.

Residential Assisted Living National Association understands that partnering people together in a home requires a combination of ingredients.The right chemistry is critical for a successful transformation.As our list of reliable resources increase, we will continue providing a nationwide network of businesses that put seniors first. RALNA, Sharing Housing, Roommates4Boomers and Silvernest are four reputable resources already connecting seniors to The Golden Girlscomfort of living:

  • RALNA is consistently discovering creative ways to accommodate the needs of millions of baby boomer. Many of them still have to work after the age of retirement. As a result, older people are quaking in their boots, afraid they won’t have enough money to make a living.  RALNA provides resources for seniors in different dynamics, whether independent or assisted living.
  • Sharing Housing is a guidebook for finding and keeping good housemates.
  • Roommates4Boomersis another inexpensive resource to ease the anxieties of seniors by helping them find boommates that are a good fit.
  • Silvernest.comis an online source aiming to create next-generation modern roommates that are well-matched.


RALNA is committed to helping seniors find the perfect fit for their living accommodations. A network of resources helping to pair residents with homeowners is key to this process. Visit to learn more about our commitment to senior housing.


 Blanche’s Disadvantages of Bad Boommates

 “I could get herpes listening to this story,” Blanche said.

The idea of packing up and moving in with a small group of strangers can be scary. Here are 10 important factors to remember when helping baby boomers transition to the world of roommates:


  1. The word “roommate” is what most seniors think of for college kids and people in their early 20s.
  2. Moving into a shared home after 50 poses daunting challenges if professional protocols aren’t put in place prior to the placement.
  3. Some homeowners can feel possessive and protective of certain belongings, while a renter may feel like a powerless guest in his/her own residence. 
  4. The deeply embedded idea that sharing home is not the American dream is an anxiety that’s difficult to overcome for some.
  5. Compromise and communication are key components of living together.
  6. Negotiations never end when you’re living with boommates. 
  7. Wrestling with the legal process of evicting renters who do not pay.
  8. Dealing with people who are set in their ways and inconsiderate
  9. Coping with housemates who do not possess shared values.
  10. Cleanliness, comfort, and cooking are critical concerns for people over 50, some seniors don’t care if the house is dirty and others can’t cope with uncleanliness.


Avoiding this discussion prior to moving in can lead to a nightmare, one that does not end in humor or laughter. Rose, Sophia, Blanche, and Dorothy had comedic chemistry that made The Golden Girls model thrive. America embraced it. Now seniors are taking this new trend to the world of Resident Assisted Living. Baby boomers know what they want and they are bold enough to give birth to new family-like communities in their older age. We’ve seen a lot and we’ve heard the good and the bad. This is why we offer a network of reputable resources to avoid the complexities and disadvantages of bad boommates. 


 Dorothy’s Design to Dodge Frustration.

“Go to sleep sweetheart, pray for brains,” Dorothy said. 

 Many RAL owners are already adopting this “Golden Girls” model and providing a safe and affordable home for seniors to thrive. These homes embrace their desire for independence while supporting their need for community. Here’s how seniors can to dodge frustrations and avoid unwanted conflicts:


  1. Contact a HOME SHARING ADVOCATE to draw up a house agreement that takes unforeseen circumstances into consideration.
  2. Make sure the HOUSE AGREEMENT is detailed and addresses issues such as guests, use of space, cleanliness and any personal concerns renters and owners may encounter. 
  3. A TRIAL PERIOD can sometimes prove to be priceless. It gives both parties an opportunity to back out without hassles and stress.


When the arrangement works, it can be transformative – allowing seniors to save money, connect with a community, and eliminate cumbersome debt. I’m sure Dorothy would agree that this is a model that makes for good sleep and peaceful brains. Companionship is a life-generating source. The Golden Girlsmodel allows people to celebrate life with friends and feel a sense of family while maintaining their independence.

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