For the last 15 years, author Louise Thornberry of Iowa City has opened her home to one or more young women, usually University of Iowa students. But when she's asked if she rents rooms, she replies, "Not really. I share my home."
Living In Iowa travels this week to Iowa City to explore a program that matches older Iowans not ready to leave their homes with young tenants who, in exchange for rents lower than typical Iowa City apartments, provide these older Iowans companionship and assistance with basic household chores.
"If I didn't have the girls, I don't think I could live alone for the little things they do," says Thornberry, who is 88. "They make me feel young. They make me do things. They encourage me."
David Purdy, director of Shared Housing, Johnson County, says the program is "really a return to the extended family. It's not your immediate but it's kind of your adopted family."
Living In Iowa airs at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 and again at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 on all Iowa Public Television stations.
Read the rest of this article in the 12/07 Pilot Tribune.