Your SEX LIFE is OVER! Mom’s moving IN…

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I know, I know… the title is a bit edgy.  But did I get your attention?  I thought so.

Not many people are willing to talk about some of the potential realities of “Aging In Place”, especially something as “private” as this topic.  But I am willing to talk about it.  Why?  Because it IS a potential REALITY of not PLANNING AHEAD for one of the potential outcomes of an Aging In Place solution in your family.

Multi-generational housing, as it’s being referred to these days, is on the rise.  It can come about in a couple of different ways today.  Part of the equation can be economic, wherein the current kids are staying home longer (beyond 18 years old) or moving back home after going away for schooling due to lack of work or cost of living vs. income potential not equating to independent living for younger adults.  The Other part of the potential 3 generation home is the “Silver Tsunami”.  With 10,000 people turning 65 years old ever day, decisions about where our folks should live as they get older (Baby Boomers’ parents, and then the kids of the Boomer deciding about them) and their ability to stay independent changes.  Deciding if they live alone, live with you, or live in a facility of some sort are all coming to the surface now, for our folks first, and soon after, for us as well.

Now, historically, (mostly In other countries such as families of Asian descent) there has been some very smart housing that had been designed in centuries past around a central courtyard, with a home-style building on 3 or 4 sides.  Children, parents, and grandparents all lived on the property, in separate housing.  But cooking and caring for children and elders were done in the communal “village” style within the family unit of 3 or even 4 generations contributing.

In the land of the “American Dream” of SINGLE family housing – one house per property parcel, that concept of communal living has been lost.  It’s been traded in for the “piece of the pie” pursuit.  And yet it appears we may be in need of a flashback to the centuries past for lessons to re-learn.  The “sandwich generation” as they’re being called, have children still at home, and parents that are beginning to need some help with their ADL’s (activities of daily living).  The end result can be 3 generations in YOUR home.  Are you prepared for that?  Have you PLANNED AHEAD for the possibility, and how to make it work best for all the members of the family involved?  You should, it can make all the difference in YOUR OWN life and happiness in the years ahead.

We’re moving quickly into the decades ahead here in the U.S., where there may be grandparents moving in with parents, and parents moving in with kids.  Again partially due to the economy, but more likely the simple fact that the vast majority (up to 89%) of people don’t want to go to assisted living or a nursing care facility as their first choice.  Therefore, If they can’t afford the amount of professional nursing/medical care (in their own home – called “in-home care”) that they require as they get up in years, many more families are beginning to conclude that having a parent move in with one of the kids is the best solution to meet both:

1) The budget constraints of the parent / family, and

2) The real needs of the parent on a daily basis.

THE END RESULT?  YOU are taking care of YOUR PARENT, in YOUR HOME.

Have you thought about where the new or additional “master on the main floor” would go? (In architecture a second bedroom with an attached bathroom is called a “junior suite”, so you may hear that term used interchangeably).  Have you thought about how you can maintain some personal privacy (and thereby happiness) in your ADULT life, with mom wandering the halls at different hours of the day (and night) than other members of the family?  What if she is experiencing some of the early signs of dementia, and she forgets which door is her bedroom on the way back from the only restroom you have, off the hallway next to your bedroom?

I know.  It won’t happen to your family.  This will never become your reality.  These things happen to “someone else”, right?  Just like every other statistic that “You’ll never be one of”.  Or so you convince yourself… until it DOES HAPPEN.  It WILL be a discussion you have in your family, in your future, over the next couple of years or decades.  Are you READY?  Have you PLANNED for it?  Maybe you should.  It can make all the difference in YOUR future, and YOUR life in YOUR HOME.  And possibly, WITH MOM.

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