Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Mom’s Moving In – Boomers are you really ready?

with 2 comments

746-2W23SENIORS_xlgraphic_prod_affiliate_4The makeup of households is changing for the sandwich generation baby boomers.  One of the biggest trends is the number of  adult children sharing living quarters with their aging parents.  There’s a great article from the Sacramento Bee    about a 105 year old mother moving in with her 76 year old daughter. Wow.  Really makes you think about the future.

 The Census Bureau says there are 3.6 million older parents living with their adult children, a 50% increase from 2000.  We can expect that trend to continue with increasing longevity, the need for long-term care and financial resources being squeezed.

 It can be a very economical decision.  It can also be a way to make sure your parent (or aunt, or sister or whoever) is getting the quality of care and support you want for them.  

But it means big changes for everyone involved. And it can be a way of reducing the stress of constantly “running to Mom’s”.  

 On the other hand it can bring on new issues. Some upfront planning and raised awareness can help things go more smoothly.

 HomeInstead Senior Care has an educational program called Too Close for Comfort?, to guide families to the right choices for them. including an Intergenerational Home Tour   that can help you think about the impact of moving in together.

 Here are some questions that HomeInstead recommends you ponder as you make the decision:

  •  Is it best financially to maintain separate residences or to move in together?
  • Do you have the resources to take care of your elderly loved one in your home?
  • Are there young children at home? If so, what do they think about it?
  • Should you move Mom or Dad to your home, or should you move into theirs?
  • Is the home safe for a senior and, if not, what changes need to be made?
  • How do you handle separate bank and savings accounts, and joint expenses?
  • What role will adult siblings play?
  • Will you need caregiving help for your senior?
  • How do you balance family time and private time?
  • If you’re an older adult, will you lose your independence? 

You’ll also find resources at  www.caregiver.org; www.caring.com, www.aarp.org/family/caregiving/

It’s a big decision, so don’t shortchange either of you on the conversation and agreements before you choose to share space.

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Written by Laura Rossman

June 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Another well written and enlightening article. I think that you will see a spike in the 2009 stats. We have had my mother in law live with us for a year now and we are still trying to work through the questions you posed.

    gr8simpson

    June 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, I think we will be seeing more intergenerational families as we all figure out how to do the best we can with what we have and for each other. I just saw an article in the Wahsington Post about a man who at 107 has now outlived his savings twice — he’s health and living in assisted living, and the community has rallied around him to provide financial support and keep his out of a Medicaid nursing home.

      Laura Rossman

      July 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm


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