Multigenerational Living – Determining if This is the Best Option

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,467
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care talks about multi-generational living. This video will focus on discussing ways for your family to decide if this is the best option for them.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I am talking about multi-generational living. Right now we are going to discuss ways for your family to decide if this is the best option for them. It is estimated that 25% of the baby boomer generation expects that they will share homes with an aging parent at some point. So how do you decide if this is the best choice for you, your parent, and your family?

    Basically, there are seven questions you should ask yourself. Let's go through them. One, are you prepared for the pressure on your spouse and children? Two, have your spouse and children agreed to take mom or dad into your home? Three, have you established a working arrangement with siblings or other family members? Four, have you anticipated the wear and tear on your own health? Five, are you prepared for the emotional stress of long-term caregiving? Six, have you evaluated the financial cost of providing family care? And seven, will you be able to continue to work and provide family care?

    Certainly, answering these questions is not always easy and may take some time. You will also have to have a conversation with other siblings, spouses, and employers. To help you with some research on the pros and cons of multi-generational living, we have created list of advantages and disadvantages. Let's talk about the advantages first.

    Having your parent live with you certainly fulfills the promise of home. It also provides opportunities to develop a close, personal relationship with your senior loved one. Generally, this housing option has a low cost of care. With most cost coming primarily out of pocket. Other advantages include a sense of great personal satisfaction at helping another in their time of need, as well as inter-generational bonding among your parents, you, and your children.

    The biggest disadvantage is a risk of high personal and family stress. A new person in the home means more melding of schedules and activities, which can cause tension. There is also the potential for multi-generational conflicts. How grandma and grandpa used to do things may seem out of touch to your children. Other disadvantages are the possibility of under serving the needs of your senior, neglecting your own family, or suffering a loss of productivity on your job.

    Truly, the best time to choose the family care option is if the senior is functional on all activities of daily living and requires limited assistance. The other big topic to consider is your budget. Adriane Berg, Founder of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, says that some of the financial advantages of sharing a home with your senior loved one include; that many expenses, such as heating and water, don't increase significantly when you move a loved one into your home.

    You can now buy many food staples in bulk, which can mean added savings. If grandpa and grandma are willing and in good health, they can help care for your young children. You may also qualify for a dependency deduction for your senior loved one if they are living with you.

    What's more, the profit from the sale of the senior's home is no longer a dead asset and can be safely invested. Berg says, the financial disadvantages could include the senior losing a homeowner's tax deduction or having capital gains issues. Moreover, an ill or frail adult will need care. That can be a disruption of a household, as well as loss of work income, so you must factor that into your budget. Keep in mind that the average annual cost to have a parent live with the family is estimated to be between $5,000-8,000. This generally covers out of pocket expenses to provide care, including transportation, meals, extra utilities, and the like.

    Now that we have touched on the concrete issues, in the next video we will talk about emotional factors to consider.