Seniors living in a Multi-Generational Home

February 12, 2022

Filed in: {Home Safety}

aging in place, home safety. multi-generational home design, fall prevention, seniors, older adults
By Janet Engel, OT/L, CAPS

    Seniors are choosing to live in a multi-generational home. Also, the Number of Americans living in a multi-generational household ( 3 or more generations) has nearly quadrupled in the past decade. The Generations United organization estimates 66.7 million adults ages 18+ live in a multi-generational family unit. That is more than 1 in 4 Americans. More than half of these people started living together because of the Covid-19 Pandemic and state they will continue to do so in the long term. Seniors are benefiting more than ever from this living arrangement. Independent and assisted living facilities are financially out of reach for most older adults. Moreover, lock downs during the pandemic also shed light on how quality of life and freedom to socialize with other residents and family members can be greatly restricted.   

Factors contributing to this trend include: 

  1. economic climate (66%);
  2. need for elder care (34%),
  3. need for child care/education needs (34%);
  4. job loss/change in job status or underemployment (30%);
  5. healthcare costs of one or more family members (25%);
  6. cultural and family expectations (23%);
  7. education/retraining expenses (23%). 

gu.org/…ources/multigenerational-families

 

Home Design for Older Adults

This article is going to focus on home design. Specifically, home design to accommodate seniors in the multi-generational living arrangement.  I think we can all agree first and foremost privacy is key to a successful living arrangement. Aside from privacy, there is a laundry list of must-haves to ensure safety and comfort. Here is a list of the top remodeling recommendations:

How Can Seniors Benefit 

   Seniors can add a lot of value in multi-generational home. They can assist with child care, home maintenance, and finances. In return, younger members in the home can provide the older adult with transportation assistance, assistance with medication management, and more difficult home maintenance upkeep. Thus, with the right home design, everyone can enjoy privacy and independence and intermingle at their will. 

 In conclusion, as with any remodel, you want to hire a licensed contractor with experience in this area. In addition, I also recommend hiring a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS) with additional training and knowledge in accessibility requirements, products, equipment, and safety. Anyone can locate a CAPS designees through the National Home Builders Association website https://www.nahb.org/

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