Seniors use roommate-finding agencies to cut costs

In this July 17, 2014 photo, Carolyn Allen, left, a 69-year-old widow who has suffered two strokes, makes her way to the living room with roommate Marcia Rosenfeld, who owns the apartment Allen lives in New York. The two women are roommates thanks to a home-sharing program run by a New York-based nonprofit agency. Rosenfeld's two-bedroom apartment is too big for her, and even with a senior citizen's rent break, at over $1,000 a month, it was too expensive, so she is happy to have Allen help share living expenses. Allen doesn't want to live alone and doesn't want to spend a lot on rent, so she and Rosenfeld agree the program suits their individual needs. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP)—Thousands of aging Americans are taking part in home-sharing programs around the country.

The programs, usually nonprofit, help save money and find companionship.

Organizers say the principal goal is to allow the elderly to stay in their homes rather than move to assisted living or a nursing home.

The programs are not just for seniors, but the typical participant is a divorced or widowed woman over 60 who has extra room in her home and trouble meeting expenses.

Another person who can't find affordable housing shares the rent or mortgage.

The need appears to be growing as age and and rising rents limit seniors' options.

One New York woman says she'd be on the street if she hadn't taken in a fellow senior.

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