Do Parents Really Want to Live with Their Adult Children?
It’s difficult to pinpoint how many aging parents live with their adult children, but there is certainly a lot more interest in this type of arrangement now than there was a decade ago. Part of the reason for this increase in multi-generational living is the economy. It’s cheaper for two families to live in one house than for each to have a separate home. I believe another significant factor for many adult children is that it seems easier and cheaper for us to care for our aging parents personally than it would be to pay for in-home care or consider a move to assisted living.
Taking Care of Our Own: Moving in With Family: Of course, delicate care decisions like this one aren’t only made based on financial reasons. Most of us have at least a little of the “we take care of our own” mentality. Our parents took care of us and likely their own parents. Now it’s our turn to take care of them. Furthermore, many people are distrustful of hired caregivers. This may be because providing hands-on personal care is such an intimate task and because troubling stories and bad experiences with professional caregivers have been circulating for years. Together, these feelings can make the idea of parents moving into an adult child’s home seem like the best solution for all involved.
While popular opinion seems to be that most aging parents would jump at the chance to live with their adult children, that isn’t necessarily so. Less than a third (31 percent) of seniors surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project on aging and quality of life said they would live with a younger family member when they could no longer live on their own. By contrast, more than half (51 percent) of adult children expressed willingness to have an older parent move in with them when they could no longer live on their own.
The Challenges of Multi-Generational Living: The bottom line is that most of us want to be independent. Children, if they are mentally and physically healthy, generally separate from their parents…
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