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Should Grandparents Live with Grandkids? 5 Tips for Multigenerational Families

What was once the largest generation in the United States, the Baby Boomers seems as though it is finally being dethroned by Millennials. Statistics show that by the end of this year, there will be more Millennials than Baby Boomers (those aged 20-35) for the first time in history. The fact is that Baby Boomers are aging since they were born right after World War II. As they continue to age, the numbers will continue to shrink. These numbers have left an interesting dynamic and trend in family living though. As you now have a large group of people – the Boomers – who need that extra care and perhaps want the company of their adult children and grandkids. This has led to multigenerational families where everyone is living under the same roof.

So, should grandparents live with grandkids and their adult children? Are there any risks or things to be aware of? Here we’ll examine five tips for multigenerational families looking to live together.


Make Sure Everyone Has Their Own Space

One of the first tips has to do with personal space. This can be hard to come by in a house with multigenerational families living in it, but it’s important that everyone has a space they can retreat to when they want a little privacy. Have a family meeting and discuss the importance of personal space. Make it clear where each person’s space will be and that they are not to be barged in on.

For example, maybe your parent’s personal space will be their bedroom when the door is closed. Make sure all other family members respect their space and knock before entering. It’s just simple things and gestures like this that will allow everyone to feel comfortable.


Install a Medical Alert System

No matter how healthy your Baby Boomer parents may seem, it’s still a good idea to be realistic about their age. The fact is that anything could happen at any time, so it can be smart to use a reliable medical alert device or system in your home. Today’s systems are modern, compact and barely visible, are effective, and best of all trustworthy. Even if you only end up needing it once, it will be worth it right there.

Take a look at the system from Get Safe that is voice-enabled, push button-enabled, or cord-enabled. Your elderly parents will have no problem getting help, which means you won’t have to worry.


Make Sure the Home is Retrofitted for Any Physical Disabilities or Limitations

It’s also important that you retrofit your home with multigenerational families, making sure it’s safe and practical for them to move about in. This can mean things like a ramp into the house rather than stairs, installing a grab rail in the shower, installing an electric chair lift on the stairs, and raising toilet seats a little higher. The changes you make will depend on your parent’s limitations and health.

Photo by Nikoline Arns on Unsplash

Discuss Finances in Advance

Finances are another thing that should be considered and discussed before the move happens. Be sure you are clear about what contributions they will make to the household expenses and expenses for their care.


Let Them Decorate their Own Space

As for their bedroom, rather than you making all the design and décor choices for them, leave the decision-making up to them. It’s their space so they need to feel at home and welcome. You can certainly do the decorating for them, but let them dictate what is to be done.


A Harmonious Home

By following these tips you are sure to have a harmonious multigenerational home.


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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the owner of TWL Working Moms. She is a full time teacher, a mom & step mom, and NBCT Facilitator. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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