Multigenerational Household

Family of Flowers

I’ve been slow to update here lately, so I wanted tell you why: my mother has moved in. Without going into the details, I’ll just say this is likely the last place she’ll be living. But she’ll be with us, her family. And I believe the experience will be good for us all, for good days and bad.

So. There you go. Now to try and put a more cheerful spin on on the topic. And there is one, house-wise. If you have aging parents or are getting older or have kids who have left college but the real world hasn’t been all that kind…

Turns out homebuilders are aware of the challenges faced by multigenerational households. David and I recently toured a new neighborhood near where we live, and we got to explore our first multigenerational home design.

We were seriously impressed.

Mini-home within a home. Pretty cool.

If my mother could still take of herself, she’d love to have a separate kitchen and laundry. I could see adult kids moving back home eager to ‘rent’ out such a space too—because it’s certainly an improvement over living in the attic or basement. Some of these designs were sweet. It might not be where we’re at right now, but it’s a brilliant idea and we loved it.

So, any of you have your parents or adult kids living with you? Or are you living with them? It’s not so bad, actually. It’s definitely not lonely and that’s a win.


Filed under Caregiving, Family, Journal, Life

25 responses to “Multigenerational Household

  1. My grandma (85) and she’s a great storyteller, so definitely a win 🙂

    • karengadient

      My mother can tell some interesting tales and she certainly says some crazy things, so she keeps me on my toes. 😀

  2. Val Mills

    It’s good that you’re able to have your mother with you when she needs it Karen. We have an adult son who drifts back from time to time but adly our house is too small for three. I hope things continue to work well for you.

    • karengadient

      Our house is just big enough, but I wish it was a single level since my mother has problems with stairs. So far it’s working out, but I do a lot of fetching.

      • Val Mills

        LOL I know all about fetching, my husband has had two knee replacement operations since the beginning of this year!

  3. In my house too, my mother was the one who kept the garden beautiful. I am now.

    • karengadient

      I think it’s comforting to take over such a beautiful task as tending the garden. We have roses and they will always make me smile.

  4. Have you thought about getting a chair lift? My uncle had one fitted so that my aunt could save her sore knees, then he realised how useful it was for himself! If my parents were living with us I’d save on the phone bill and my husband would benefit from mum’s excellent roast beef, which I don’t cook as I’m veggie. I’d love to share those precious moments with mum and dad. I’m sure you’ll keep enjoying having them around.

    • karengadient

      At this stage, she gets winded pretty easily and I suspect she’ll soon stay primarily upstairs. Sad to say, but true. I remain upstairs with her most of the time, so it’s been better than expected. We have a secondary space upstairs that can serve as another dining room. We’ll get creative. Ah, cooking! I’m mostly veggie and poor Mom is getting so much healthy food now, heh. She had squash last night and loved it. And a fresh peach with lunch today. Wait ’til she tries my kale chips. 😉

  5. You are wonderful to take her in. My mother had a nightmare experience with her mother. My turn is coming up, I’m sure. I think it will be just fine as long as everyone is positive. Your mom sounds like she’s grateful; I bet she’s glad she has you for a daughter! 🙂

    • karengadient

      Thank you. 🙂 Things are going better than expected. I think it will work out fine. You’re right, it’s all about staying positive.

  6. Great post. I had no idea. I wish that had been around 10 years ago.

    • karengadient

      Thanks. Yes, we really liked the homes we saw. Ours is pretty new, though. Luckily, we have enough room for all of us!

  7. Any change takes a certain amount of adjustment. I think you all will settle and be fine. I wish you guys all the best! 😀

  8. My older brother’s mother-in-law needs to live with them, but she refuses to give up her house. So they have to keep driving 90 miles one way to see after her. It’s so hard to watch parents age. My parents are aging. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll remain in their home.

    • karengadient

      I feel for your brother. Our trip to see my mother was hundreds of miles each way, but we did it frequently. I’m glad we’ve convinced her to come live with us. It’s going to be better all around. I agree, it’s hard to watch your parents age. It’s hard to watch them get sick. I love having her here, but I’m also fighting sadness.

  9. Thanks for posting the link for the multigeneraltional homes blog. Friends are in the process of drawing multigenerational home plans at the present time.

    • karengadient

      You’re welcome. It’s really a brilliant idea that I wish I’d have known about before we built our current home.

  10. Thank you for the like, and I really like the photo of the flower on this post, very vibrant and striking.

  11. I think that’s a wonderful idea. I’d like living together with my family but not too together, if you know what I mean!

  12. Lauren

    I’m very late to respond to this, but here goes anyway. My mom and I live together, for financial reasons as well as the fact that she has rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. She’s “only” 66, but there are some days she can barely walk or open things because her hands are too clenched. It’s tough sometimes, especially since we live in a one floor, two bedroom apartment, but we make it work because we have to. I would love to find a way to but one of those multi-generational homes! Now I just have to win the lottery. 😉

    • karengadient

      Oh, we can’t afford a bigger home yet either. Someday, though. Maybe. Right now, things here are changing and we might have to restructure the living space soon. Caretaking is a such a challenging situation. You do what you can and take each day at a time.

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