Multigenerational households are nothing new; it is a lifestyle that people all over the world have adopted for centuries. But while it may not be new, it is definitely a trend that is picking up steam as of late, as the massive population of baby boomers continue to age and need a little more assistance in their day-to-day living.
If you have an elderly parent, or both parents, who you have suggested come live with you, it’s quite normal to feel a bit of apprehension on how everything will work out. Obviously, you want to have a smooth transition and for everyone to live harmoniously. With that said, it can be helpful to look at things in a realistic manner and be aware of the pros and cons of multigenerational households. Here we’ll take a look at some of the top points in each category so that you can go into the new living arrangements well-prepared.
The Pros of Multigenerational Households
When it comes to the pros, peace of mind is often top of the list. You have the peace of mind knowing that your parent is being cared for, well-fed, is socializing with others, and doesn’t feel alone.
Then there is the bonding aspect of living together. Being around each other on a daily basis is a wonderful way to bond with your parents, and for the grandkids to do the same. It’s a really special experience that everyone will remember.
Having your parent live with you in your home is also a lot less expensive than moving them to a nursing home. Nursing homes can range in the thousands of dollars per month, which can be too steep for most families to afford.
The Cons of Multigenerational Households
Then we have the list of cons. One of the biggest is that you run the risk of your elderly parent becoming injured in your home. It may be no fault of the home. Rather, their own health is to blame, but you certainly don’t want to think about them lying on the floor injured while you’re at work for the full day. For this reason, you may want to invest in a home medical alert system, as it alerts emergency personnel quickly.
Look for a medical alert system that offers 24/7 access to the medical monitoring system, with a pull-cord, button, and voice-activated functionality, so you have peace of mind that help is available if your parent needs it.
Another con that families can run into is a real lack of space. Obviously, another body in the house means more “stuff” that comes with them, and it can make some members feel as though there is a lack of personal space. A great way to get around this is to have a frank discussion before the move and designate certain areas as private space. For example, if someone is in their bedroom, this is their private space and others need to knock before entering.
There is also a cost burden that will accompany that extra body in the home. Again, it’s wise to talk about finances before your parent moves in and figure out a way to have everyone contributing.
Depending on the health and physical ability of your parent, you may also need to make concessions in the home to make it more accessible and safe for them.
It’s a Personal Decision that Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly
At the end of the day, deciding whether or not to move your aging parent in with you is a very personal decision that shouldn’t be rushed or taken lightly. There are plenty of things to consider, both pros and cons, in order to ensure everyone is happy and cared for.
Photo by Paolo Bendandi