While many seniors find it possible to remain happy and healthy at home as they age, many more are finding happiness in a different home: their children’s.
In 2008, 6.2 million intergenerational households resided in the United States. In 2010, the number jumped to 7.1 million households, or 6.1 percent of all households. This two-year increase marked a faster rate of growth than the previous eight years combined.
Moving a loved one into your home may be the right choice for your family, and with the proper planning, can make life easier and safer for everyone. To help move-in day go as smoothly as possible, here are some things to consider:
Personal space: Your mom or dad may be leaving a home full of memories; make sure their new space feels familiar and comforting. Let mom bring her favorite chair and your dad his decades old coffee maker. Hang personal photos and other mementoes. Also make sure your parents can move safely around the space: Is there a bathroom on the same floor as their room? Are doorways wide enough to fit a wheelchair or walker if necessary?
Communicate openly about the move and ensure everyone in your family has their privacy and feels comfortable sharing spaces.
Neighborhood Resources: Take your mom and dad on a personal tour of your local pharmacy, grocery store, bank, church, library, recreation center, and/or local senior center. Help them find information on classes or programs they’d like to participate in. And if your parents need a high level of care, be sure to look at resources for yourself as well.
Locally, Remain At Home’s services can assist with any in-home medical and non-medical companion care that may be required, affording families the opportunity to maximize on quality of time spent with loved ones, as well providing a much needed break on occasion.
Jobs: Give your loved one a chance to help out in his or her new home. Enlist your dad to take over story time at bed time for younger kids, or even babysit for an evening. Let mom take on smaller chores like helping with dishes or gardening.
Seniors can also feel like a financial burden, so offer them the chance to give financially as well. Perhaps they can take the family out to dinner, or treat the family to ice cream. In my family, at least, there is no one that says no to ice cream.