On the surface, it might seem like a good idea to move your aging parents into your home once they're no longer able to live independently. Doing so may eliminate the need for you to split your time between spending time with your own family and making trips to your parent's home to take care of them, but intergenerational housing isn't always a smooth transition.
Aging In Place
At LifeFone, we recently talked about simple ways to improve the kitchen, bathroom and walkways for mom or dad. Though, sometimes maintaining and keeping a home safe from falls could take upgrades and modifications that would require a professional.
According to the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they grow older. Aging in place means more independence, comfort, and potential cost-savings. The national cost average in 2015 to age in place, was roughly $3,600 each month, and continues to rise.
The 2030’s are expected to be an important decade for the U.S. population. In 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65 meaning that 1 in every 5 residents will be at retirement age. “The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million (previously 76.4 million) under the age of 18.” At LifeFone, we believe it’s important for you to recognize the impact that an aging nation may have on you, and your loved ones.
Many people enjoy the solitude of living alone, while others, especially if they find themselves unexpectedly in an empty home, find it to be a difficult transition. Besides not having the companionship of another person, living alone also means you don’t have someone to help you around the house with simple chores.
Are you thinking about retirement? When it comes to the topic of retirement, the old rules no longer apply. In fact, when the Social Security act was passed in 1935, the age of retirement was set at 65, and the average life expectancy was 61. Today, the average life expectancy is just under 80. That fact alone should cause you to begin re-thinking retirement.
Nobody wants to broach the subject of the future with their elderly parents. The more independent-minded your parents are, the less comfortable the conversation can be. However, no one is exempt from dealing with the potential pitfalls that come with caring for your aging parents.
You remember the story about Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Nothing satisfied her. The bed was too big, too hard, too soft. Her porridge too cold, too hot, too – not good enough. Interestingly, there’s a syndrome named after her. The Goldilocks Syndrome.
As many Baby Boomers are discovering, caring for aging parents is not an easy undertaking. This is due in part to aging relatives who are unwilling or unable to age gracefully, either because they ignore it or refuse to make changes to accommodate their aging. Regardless of how healthy and in-shape your parents may have been in their younger years, they need to understand that the aging process affects everyone and changes need to be made to take this process into consideration.