Multigenerational Living – Emotional Issues to Address

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,015
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care talks about multi-generational living. This video will focus on the emotional issues that multigenerational families face.

    Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I am talking about multigenerational living. Right now we're going to discuss the emotional issues that multigenerational families face.

    Independent research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network by the Boomer Project sheds new light on the growing population of family caregivers who are choosing to live with and provide care for a parent, stepparent, or older relative.

    One of the factors driving this trend is the need for emotional support. Certainly living together has its ups and downs. Positive feelings of care and accomplishment can mix with stress. As soon as you start thinking about having mom or dad move in, you need to have conversation with your spouse and children engaging them in the conversation and enlisting their support is vital. The more the family buys in at the beginning, the more likely they will be to come up with great ideas to make the living situation work.

    Experts say that each family member has needs that should be taken into consideration. However, individual needs must be viewed in the context of the health of the overall family unit. It is also important to satisfy time for nuclear family as well. Continuing to do certain activities with your children will make sure they recognize your connection as a family unit hasn't changed.

    To help make multigenerational living successful, we have come up with seven tips for healthier, happier families. Let's discuss them.

    First, take a family partnership perspective. Everyone needs to be informed and to give input into arrangements. Second, set expectations right from the beginning. People understand it's not just what they get out of it, but how they fit in to the whole family. Third, ask for help. Engage your children in responsibilities around the home and make it clear to the adult siblings that you expect them to be involved. If extended family members will not help with respite care, arrange for professional care giving.

    Forth, make family unity key. Routines, rituals, and traditions help draw the family unit together. Plan a family movie or game night or take a walk together. Fifth, find threads of common interest and build on those to develop deeper relationships. Focus on activities that provide simple ways to generate a common bond such as ethnic cooking, family history, health or wellness.

    Six, keep lines of communication open. Recognize the importance of my time and our time. Try to take everyone's needs into account. A good idea is to visit 4070talk.

    com for more information about bridging the communication gap between seniors and their boomer children.

    And seventh, distinguish between private space and shared space. Shared space should be stopped with material inviting for all ages and items that could stimulate discussion, such as a children's project or brag book of photos. Make sure to have clear rules regarding the private spaces set aside for each member of the household.

    In general, communication is the key to making it work. Working things out together can strengthen bonds and build a more cohesive family. Even with the best intentions, changes in family dynamics can lead to conflict. Planning ahead with siblings and family agreements can help. We will talk about that in the next video.