The rise of the “Sandwich Generation” has brought with it new challenges for Baby Boomers. Not only are they tasked with supporting their children – sometimes well into adulthood – but they’re also finding themselves caring for elderly parents. And with today’s economic climate still recovering, both grown children and aging parents are discovering the high cost of living independently, leading to previously unexpected living arrangements.
As a solution to challenging financial circumstances and rising inflation, multi-generational households are on the rise in America.
While this new living arrangement can bring stress, it also comes with unexpected benefits. For instance, having built-in assistance for elderly parents at home and readily available babysitters for younger children can be a boon. Pooling resources can also lead to significant financial relief, especially for family members dealing with financial setbacks.
“Doubled-up households,” where an adult other than a spouse resides, have also seen an increase over the past decade. While some of these homes include an aging parent – situations often described as “taking care of mom” or “taking care of elderly parents” – many households also consist of unemployed young adult children.
This shift towards multi-generational living isn’t universal. In many countries, the concept of caring for aging parents at home is already far more common. But home builders in America are taking note, planning new homes with extra bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate extended families.
Despite the many benefits, the reality is that taking on the role of caring for elderly parents requires significant adjustment, particularly if the parent has cognitive or physical impairments. For working adults, balancing their own needs with those of their parents can be a considerable stressor. Services from a home care agency or nurse registry can greatly assist in caring for seniors at home.
A professional caregiver such as a home health aide or nursing assistant can assist with routine tasks in the morning, often a period of stress as the rest of the household prepares for their day. An aide can help with bathing, dressing, preparing breakfast, lunch, and doing laundry. They can also serve as a companion, providing an essential support system for the family.
The evolution of the family unit has been remarkable. The concept of three generations living together is almost a throwback to a bygone era. But while the transition to this arrangement can be challenging, it can also bring rewards, strengthening the bonds within the family and reminding us all of the value of caring for one another. Please let us know if our caregiver referral services can help turn this experience from a stressful one to an enjoyable and valuable one.