In many cultures, the traditional living arrangements that families had was for multiple generations to live under one roof and help take care of the household together; in our modern times this has become more of a rarity, but due to financial concerns some families are returning to a multi-generational living arrangement.
If you do not currently own a home thatís large enough to house all of the family members thatíll be living together you will need to purchase one that has enough space and amenities. If you will be living with both of your elderly parents, you may want to purchase a home with a whole suite built into it; if you will be sharing your home with just one parent you may want to opt for a smaller solution like having an extra bedroom with an ensuite for them.
When looking for a new home for the whole family, elements of universal design will be welcome elements, but some of these can be added at a later date if the home doesnít already contain them. Universal design elements allow people with mobility problems of all kinds access to the home just like everyone else has. Levered door handles, grab bars, wide doorways, and walk-in showers are all examples of universal design.
Whether or not your parent has mobility issues now, itís a good idea to make allowances for the possibility that they will have them in the future. Look for a home that has an on-grade entranceway so that they wonít need to climb any stairs. Itís also a good idea if their bedroom and bathroom can be on the main floor of the home for easy access.
If you have children, it is a good idea for your new home to have their bedrooms or play areas far enough removed from your parentís sleeping area so that the children are free to play without disturbing your parent if they are resting. Many older people arenít used to the hustle and bustle of living with children and will need a quiet retreat.
Whether youíre looking to live with your elderly parent just until they require a more hands-on living arrangement or if you plan on giving them care right up till the end of their life, it is a good idea to sit down and make a plan for what you and your family is going to need to accomplish that goal. Take into account the needs of everyone in the family, including your own; care-giving is an exhausting job so make sure that you have private space for yourself as well.