Mom's Movin' In: How to Make it Work

bed Mom's Movin' In: How to Make it WorkNancy Nall Reporting

In some cultures it’s common to find extended families living under the same roof; the very idea of assisted-living communities and old-age homes is unheard-of. In others, like ours, the situation is far less common. Far-flung families, busy schedules and a wealthier society make such living arrangements harder to find.

But not that hard. The skyrocketing cost of elder care, longer lives, a shifting ethnic makeup in the population — these are some of the factors driving parents, their children and grandchildren under the same roof again.

How to make it work? As in most things, it takes a plan.

Most sources agree that open and honest communication, boundary-setting and mutual respect are essential in making these new households run smoothly. The transition is often not a happy one for all — it’s an acknowledgment of dependency — but it can lead to happier lives in the long run. A few tips:

• Talk it out. Make sure everyone knows what will be happening. Discuss all the issues that will play a part in the move — personal space, finances, extra chores. If you don’t settle things now, they’ll unsettle you in the future.

• Establish house rules. If you’re lucky enough to have a semi-private “in-law suite” to use, you might want to set a schedule for certain activities — dinner together on some nights, apart on others. If a family already has its routines established — and most do — a new party will disrupt them at first. Acknowledge this up front.

• Everyone needs privacy; make sure everyone gets it. Younger family members aren’t home health-care aides, and have a right to “down time,” “me time” and other relief.

• Everyone should do their part. Older adults who are able should chip in with the household chores, too. “Feeling useful” is an important part of everyone’s self-esteem.

More ideas and resources can be found here, here, and here.

© 2010 WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best 4th Of July Concerts In Metro DetroitStaying home this weekend? Celebrate the 4th of July by rocking out at one of these shows.
Hump Day Drinks: 8 Cheery Cocktail RecipesNow that you've made it through half the work week, it's time to celebrate!

Watch & Listen