Multigenerational living used to be the norm, not the exception. Today, it’s more common for adult children of ageing parents to live outside the home, but that’s changing. Some families move back in together to relieve financial burdens on adult children, while others do so to make it easier for ageing parents to get the care they need at home.
No matter why modern families decide to give multigenerational living a try, it will require making some changes. Read on to find out about four ways to ease the challenges of having multiple generations living under the same roof to make it easier to embrace the many benefits of shared households.
Most people value their privacy. Adult children providing caregiving services for ageing parents often feel overwhelmed, especially if it’s difficult to find time alone, without even realizing their parents feel the same way. Make sure everyone has the time and space he or she needs to maintain emotional stability and keep the atmosphere in the home relaxed, whether that space is a bedroom, a home office, or a shared den made off-limits temporarily to provide a reprieve.
Seniors who value their privacy and don’t feel comfortable moving in with their adult children should know they also have other options. Those who aren’t willing to give multigenerational living a shot can try going to brandycare.com to learn about other options.
Divvy Up Chores
All families fall into patterns when it comes to household responsibilities. Those patterns need to change when multiple generations move in together. It’s best to divvy up chores and other household responsibilities early on so that no one person bears the brunt of the stress.
Family caregivers are already aware that there are some tasks their parents are no longer able to tackle alone. That doesn’t mean ageing parents can’t do anything, though. For those who aren’t severely mobility impaired, simple household chores can provide a great opportunity to get some exercise, maintain old routines, and make seniors feel more involved in family affairs.
Setting boundaries is especially essential for adult caregivers with children, but it’s important for all families. Primary caregivers should be clear with their parents about what snacks, activities, and TV shows they consider appropriate for their kids and what roles they want them to play when it comes to discipline and upbringing. It’s better to plan a family meeting to make things clear from day one to avoid the stress, drama, and hurt feelings that often come with crossing unspoken boundaries.
Connect as a Family
Multigenerational living offers plenty of opportunities in addition to challenges, so take advantage of them. Plan to spend time connecting as a family, but don’t place too much of a burden of care on seniors. It’s just as important for parents to spend time away from home with their kids as it is to make grandparents feel valued and included in daily life. Balance activities that are fun for everyone with planning to get young kids out of seniors’ hair for short periods to encourage connection without creating a burden for anyone.
The Bottom Line
Multigenerational living arrangements aren’t for everyone, and even those who are extremely family-oriented will find that moving in together creates new challenges. Try to embrace the good things about this kind of living situation and come up with plans to mitigate potential problems before they come up.
Are you multigenerational living? I’d love to hear your thoughts.