Multigenerational Living

Multigenerational Living

What family member might need to come live with you?

In the US, multigenerational living is on the rise.

In some countries, it is much more common. Multigenerational living is influenced by personal, cultural, social, and economic conditions. Every place I’ve lived in has had a guest room, but with our last home purchase we intentionally looked for a first floor bedroom and bath assuming at least one of our parents would eventually come live with us. It is a blessing, not a burden. It’s a way to honor our parents. Sure there are sacrifices that get made and independence that looks different, but that’s the norm with every stage of life when there are people in your care. 

The blessings include my kids getting more time with grandma, and my mom getting to watch them go from teens to adults. Furthermore, having my mom live with us means being able to take care of things for her in the moment, not on a weekly “to do” list. It means less travel time and worrying about her when we aren’t there. It also means not having to do yard work and repairs for two houses! 

Once we all decided the time was right, it only took a short time to make preparations. We added French doors to our dining room to make a sitting room for my mom. This gives her some privacy and quiet when she wants it. She has her own bedroom and bathroom and a place to park her car. When she is sick and needs daily care, we are available. When she is feeling good, she can be independent. 

Every house and household has it’s unique configurations, but here are a few questions to help you think through multigenerational living:

Are you spending more time at their house than at yours? Do you worry about them when you are apart? Would it be easier to care for them if you lived together? Does your spouse agree? Does your family member want to live with you? Do you have a bedroom or suite available? Could you put a cottage on your property? Would it compromise or help your health, sanity, or finances to blend your households? What are the blessings of multigenerational living?

In conclusion, multigenerational living is definitely something to consider and talk about now before it becomes a rush decision. We seem to be the first of our friends to embrace this. This is not the best decision for everyone, but for us it is. We are blessed to be able to do this, especially since it was modeled to us by my family.

Post any questions or comments about multigenerational living in the comments below. 

Table Talk: Who might need to come live with you? What is a benefit of multigenerational living? What is a burden of multigenerational living?

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