Aging. It happens to all of us, and it happens to our homes. Pew Research showed that in February 2020, 47% of young adults lived with one or both of their parents rose to 52% in July 2020. That was not too shocking to see during the peak of a pandemic. From 2010 to 2019, the United States saw its senior citizens’ population increase from 40.3 million to more than 54 million people!
Over the last decade, the percentage of aging parents that live with their adult children has increased. There are many reasons for this increase, including the economy. It is less expensive for two families to live in one house than in separate homes. It seems to be easier and more affordable for adult children to care for their aging parents than it would be to pay for in-home care or assisted living.
Some may think that most aging parents would jump at the chance to live with their adult children. The truth is, that is not the case. Seniors surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project on aging and quality of life, less than a third (31%) said they would live with a young family member when they could no longer live on their own. However, more than half (51%) of adult children expressed willingness to have an older parent move in with them when they could no longer live independently.
In reality, most seniors want their children to call and visit. They want their children to do certain things to help them, but they do not want to feel entirely dependent on their kids.
The challenge of multi-generational living is that children, if they are mentally and physically healthy, generally separate from their parents as soon as they are financially able to do so. They no longer want their parents laying down the rules.
In the same respect, an elder’s independence is crucial. Seniors also want to continue making and following their own rules and routines. The idea of living together, no matter how well you get along, can be troublesome for both parties. The intimacy of shared living space can be too much of a good thing.
So what are a few solutions?
- Adding on to your existing home
- Finish a level, such as a basement, into an in-law suite
- Transform the garage into an apartment
- Convert the spare bedroom to a full en-suite with a bath
- Rethinking your home’s layout and prioritizing first-floor accessibility
- Aim to preemptively move their bedroom to the first floor by converting a downstairs room or building an addition to a house
- A zero-clearance shower with a bench removes tripping hazards in a bathroom.
- Widened entry and exit points to rooms can generously accommodate walkers and wheelchairs.
- Mounting grab bars on shower surfaces permits ease of getting in and out of the shower.
- To make cabinets easier to open, replace traditional knobs with wide-length handles.
- Install motion-sensor LED lights in and out of the house to reduce tripping hazards and limit the use of light bulbs.
- Consider widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, even if they are not currently using any.
- Widen doorways.
- Place laundry facilities on the first floor so that you do not have to worry about going up and downstairs to do laundry.
- Reinforce walls so that when you need to add grab bars to the bathroom, for example, the walls are prepared for your needs.
Aging is inevitable. However, Clarksville Construction Services can help you and your family age comfortably by helping you remodel or expand your existing home. Contact us today for a complimentary estimate. As always, financing options are always available.