It seems the family dynamic in America is changing. Traditionally, parents raised their children to young adulthood. Those adult children then moved out into the world and started families of their own. This cycle generally continued indefinitely. At this point, though, the situation is taking a turn.
An estimated one in four households in the United States consists of multiple generations. More adults who are 25 to 34 years old are moving in with their parents, in some cases along with their spouses and children. At the same time, a growing number of elderly Americans are moving in with their adult children.
Shared Living with Elderly Parents
Some families are taking this route due to financial hardships, while others do so with hopes of making life a bit easier for everyone involved. Of course, for quite a few families, this type of shared living is an attempt to provide extra support for seniors. Those who are considering such a move should weigh the benefits and downsides carefully before jumping headlong into the commitment.
From a Financial Perspective
Finances are a major factor to consider when sharing a home with elderly parents. Though many people are quick to point out that money isn’t overly important in the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly a necessity. A few financial advantages can come from living with aging parents.
Some who still enjoy physical and mental wellness continue to work well beyond their retirement years, so they can help out with household expenses. Additionally, many have retirement income they can use to ease the financial burden on their children. From the standpoint of elderly parents, some simply can’t afford assisted living, so they need a home with loved ones who’ll help take care of them.
Some people might argue that sharing a home with elderly parents brings about extra expenses. After all, the larger a household is, the more it’ll cost to maintain. Utility bills, grocery expenses, and other costs are bound to grow. The costs of aging parents’ medical needs come into play as well. If an elderly loved one has few financial means to contribute, that can place added financial strain on adult children. Still, living expenses for a large family are typically lower than the costs of maintaining two separate households.
More Time Together
On a different note, sharing a home with aging parents allows for spending more time together. Adult children often see different aspects of their parents’ personalities than they did in their younger years. Many may find their parents have delightful senses of humor that they just didn’t appreciate when they were children. Mom or Dad may have a playfully sarcastic side that makes life a great deal more interesting. Furthermore, family bonding is more important than ever considering the declining state of the world.
That being said, not all personalities dovetail successfully. In cases where children and their parents had strained relationships to begin with, sharing a home may not be an ideal situation. On top of that, many aging parents have become accustomed to living life by their own schedules. Sudden changes to their routines may not work out for the best. Though bonding with family is crucial, sharing a household could drive family members apart rather than bringing them together. If that’s the case, exploring other senior living options is advised.
People often strive to provide love and care for their aging parents. Some find that their parents can even offer extra care for them and their own children in return. Plenty can be said for having grandparents there to help with household responsibilities. Healthy, mentally sound grandparents can even provide care for their grandchildren, eliminating the need for daycare centers or babysitters.
In some instances, though, aging parents need to care themselves. They’re unable to help out around the house or take care of their grandchildren. Instead, they have extensive needs of their own, such as ongoing supervision, home health aides, memory care, and other possibilities. Though many people feel they’re best qualified to provide for all their aging parents’ needs, they often find that to be more of a responsibility than they can handle.
A continually growing number of households consist of two generations of families living together. This is a wonderful option for some families, but it’s not the best course of action for everyone. Despite the benefits of shared living, certain downfalls also exist. Consider these points carefully when deciding which option is best for an aging loved one and everyone else impacted by the situation.
Caring for Aging Parents
At Riverview Senior Living, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch care for our residents. Our senior living community takes pride in meeting the diverse needs of the elderly and offering individualized care plans based on each person’s distinct needs. From a highly trained medical care team to activities and social events, we take a well-rounded approach to senior care.