Can Parents Live With Their Adult Children?

People need to proceed with caution when trying intergenerational living.

By Chris Berry

Due to the economy an increasing number of parents are living with their children. It’s far more affordable for two families to combine homes opposed to living separately.

Aging parents require care and it’s typically easier and less-expensive to care for them at home versus paying a caregiver to offer in-home care or make the move into assisted living. Money isn’t the only factor that impacts these decisions.

(Related: Late-Stage Alzheimer’s and Caregiver Expectations)

Many believe it is their duty to take care of their family in time of need, while others don’t trust hired caregivers with their loved ones due to horror stories passed along from years passed. Combined, all of these factors often result in the opinion that moving into the adult child’s home is the optimal solution given the circumstances.

According to those surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project, less than a third (31%) said they would live with a younger family member when they could no longer live on their own. Conversely, more than half (51%) expressed willingness to have an older parent move in with them when they could no longer live independently.

(Related: New Phone Scams Targeting Seniors)

Many adults are discouraged by the notion of living with their adult children. Living in the same space can often prove overwhelming. A shared household can be a tremendous emotional challenge, where establishing parameters for one another’s physical and emotional space is intensely difficult and reminiscent of teenagers trying to demonstrate their independence.

People need to proceed with caution when trying intergenerational living. Those that aren’t can end up feeling trapped, with no where to go. With that  said, if people choose the route of intergenerational living, it is imperative to lay down mutual ground rules for everything from finances to privacy. Naturally, a dying parent or a loved one with late-stage dementia is different. In those instances, you make be filling a gap in car, or simply want to be a part of your parent’s life for his or her final months.

(Related: How to Choose a Caregiver)

Be careful not to bring your parents into your home to fulfill a childhood issue  by proving yourself to them. Also, evaluate whether guilt is the main reason that you are asking them to move in with you, or they are pressuring you into doing so. Living together only works when the decision is made for  the right reasons and the personalities are copacetic enough to make it work.

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