Today is almost a flashback to the 40’s and early 50’s in that there are more intergenerational households than there have been in a long time. According to a recent survey, 43% of adult caregivers in the USA that are between the ages of 35 and 62 either reside with a parent, stepparent, or an older relative for whom they provide care.
Some of the factors that drive this trend are economic reason and emotional support. In some cases older adults are caring for their grandchildren, but in other cases the seniors need the care of their children. Whatever the situation is, combining households is a huge decision.
Penn State Intergenerational Programs specialist, Matthew Kaplan, PhD. Offer these seven tips:
- Make sure that everyone involved is informed and has the opportunity to give their input.
- Avoid conflict. Make sure that the family members “see eye-to-eye about each person’s roles and responsibilities.”
- Get help. Give some responsibilities around the house to the children involved. Also, make sure that adult siblings know that they are expected to be involved, or make arrangements for a professional caregiver service to take over the respite care.
- “Make family unity key. Strive for routines, rituals and traditions that bring family together.”
- Build on common interests, and develop family activities which can build deeper relationships. It could be very simple such as cooking.
- Private time. This is important to every family member.
- Private space. Make sure that everyone has private space as well as shared spaces.
If you would like more information on successful intergenerational living, call one of our social workers at Kabb Law: 216-991-KABB (5222).