Baby Boomers Take Their Parents Home

By: Jody Smith

We as Baby Boomers may be annoyed or worried by the fact that we are increasingly being called old. That is a fact of life that is just going to increase, so we'd better get used to it. But there is another group even older than us, and that would be our parents. And more of us are taking care of our parents by moving them in with us.

According to an article on Seniorcitizenjournal.com, a poll by Ameriprise Financial reported that 58 percent of Baby Boomers are helping their parents with their day-to-day needs including paying various expenses for them.

An article on Builderonline.com referred to an AARP survey which reported that in 2008, the United States went from having 5 million multi-generational households to 6.2 million. Almost 25 percent of Baby Boomers surveyed were expecting to have parents move in.

Is this so our parents can help us financially? Or is it so we can help them? Maybe it's both.

Maybe mom and dad need some help and don't want to move into a retirement or nursing home. Maybe we prefer to have them under our noses rather than worrying about whether or not they are alright. Or maybe the fact that this used to be the accepted way of doing things runs deeper in many of us than we realized.

There are levels of togetherness, depending on how comfortable the family is with each other. Is everyone delighted about having the grandparents involved with the grandkids? Has your mom always been your best friend? In that case, having them right in the middle of your living space, with their own bedroom but sharing everything else, could be just right.

If things are perhaps a bit more ... cordial, and a bit less all-embracing, a Granny apartment or a separate wing for the grandparents may be the best of all worlds. If the older seniors of the household can't hack too much noise, or if you prefer not to have their opinion pop up all day long, this separate living space within the family space could be ideal.

No matter how much you and your family may have welcomed visits from your parents over the years, the dynamics of everyone living together in the same home will probably be very different. Being realistic about this can make a big difference in how well the transition is made.

Conversations beforehand about rules of the house and expectations of all parties can help to smooth the way. And while the family is re-settling into the new scenario, don't freak out about feeling freaked out. Know ahead of time that things may be awkward and people may be out of sorts until the new unfamiliar changes become familiar.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for Empowher.com.

Sources:

Make Room for Mom

http://www.builderonline.com/demographics/make-room-for-mom.aspx

Baby Boomers Support Aging Parents

http://www.seniorcitizenjournal.com/senior-finances-articles/baby-boomers-support-aging-parents/

Boomers Mix Retirement and Responsibility

http://seniorliving.about.com/od/babyboomers/a/boomercaregiver.htm

How to Cope With Elderly Parents Moving In

http://www.ehow.com/how_7390_cope-with-elderly.html

Related Links:

Senior Living Arrangements: Independent Living Retirement Communities

http://www.empowher.com/relationships-amp-family/content/senior-living-arrangements-independent-living-retirement-communitie

Personal Care for Seniors: Great-Grandma Mabel's Experience at Home

http://www.empowher.com/caregiving/content/personal-care-seniors-great-grandma-mabels-experience-home

Seniors and Home Care: A Little Help Can Make All the Difference

http://www.empowher.com/wellness/content/seniors-and-home-care-little-help-can-make-all-difference

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