How can seniors remain out of care facilities longer? How can you remain closer to your parents without the expensive cost of finding a home near yours?
The answer you’re looking for may be multigenerational dwelling—having your aging parents live with you. More people are entering old age than ever before, and because of this, multigenerational homes have gained popularity. Many families choose to add on to their existing homes to ensure a comfortable space for everyone.
As seniors age, they and their families are faced with difficult decisions. Most seniors would love to remain in their own homes, but there are a number of reasons this may not be possible. Money and health issues commonly make it difficult for seniors to live on their own. In these cases, the next best option is living with family.
According to Aging Alone in America, by Eric Klinenberg, Stacy Torres, and Elena Portacolone, one-third of older Americans are choosing to remain independent. With medical advancements and healthier lifestyles, living alone is a possibility, and living with a family member is not the burden it used to be. As people grow older, living in a familiar place, with those they love, helps alleviate the depression or disorientation that can occur in assisted-living and nursing facilities. Furthermore, with multi-generational living, you can avoid the guilt and long-lasting arguments that frequently occur when parents are forced into homes they do not want to be in. Unlike much of the rest of the world, Americans tend to live apart from their elders. Older people may feel pushed away. With the recent economy shift, however, young people are commonly staying in their parents’ homes longer, and older people are moving back in with their children. How European of us!
Beyond the obvious cost benefits, living at home can help elderly parents remain healthy, both physically and emotionally. Housekeeping, yard work, and cooking are all forms of physical and mental exercise that patients do not receive in places like assisted-living centers. Once people have been retired for quite some time, they often lose the routines that kept them healthy. Doing small things around the house to keep active can help reduce aging atrophy, making elders less dependent on those around them. With your parents in a suite attached to your house, they can help with cleaning duties or other homecare activities. It’s a win-win.
Lastly, living in a familiar place allows seniors to more easily control their environments. The house can be as clean as they like, and they are free to decide which people they want to see. At facilities, residents are required to see nurses, other residents, and sometimes other residents’ families. Aging can often be a time of making major decisions, but keeping parents close may alleviate some of that stress. Of course, if your loved one begins to require too much care for you to manage, you should look into home-health services or other living options.
Jacob Edward is the manager of both Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Prime Medical Alert allows seniors to stay in their homes longer and is one of the leading suppliers of Arizona medical alerts. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater, Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.
Curious about multigenerational living? New Avenue is the place to start! View plans and budgets from our accessory dwelling unit (ADU) projects and get access to our planning tools. You can sign up and use the New Avenue system for free here: Get Started