Are you considering moving your parent or parents in with you? You’re not alone.
According to the AARP, “A Pew Research Center survey finds that nearly 79 million adults in the United States, or 31.9 percent of the adult population, live in a ‘shared household,’ meaning one in which two or more adults not intimately attached live in the same home.” This large statistic includes adult children moving back in with their parents, as well as the growing number of aging parents choosing to move in with their adult children.
The types of families living together varies greatly. Some are still the “sandwich generation,” people who are caring for aging parents will still raising their own children at home (or welcoming back adult children). These families may have three—or even four—generations under one roof. Others are “aging together,” which refers to when a retired couple chooses to live with an elderly parent or parents. In this case, both generations may need senior care or assistance.
The reasons for this combination of family members living together range from reduced expenses, to increased connections, to help with childcare or medical care. There are plenty of reasons to want to have family together under one roof – but also plenty of reasons it can be challenging. The home you live in can make a big difference on how well you live in general.
No matter what the makeup of your family situation, a family that includes multiple generations needs a home that can handle a variety of ages and abilities – as well as the important needs for comfort, independence, and privacy.
For a home to be comfortable for all generations, everyone needs to first be able to access all parts of the home. Typically you’ll want a master bedroom on the first floor. Wide, open, and level floor plans help prevent tripping and falling, and keep the rooms from feeling too cluttered or crowded. Some families may opt to install an elevator (which may not be as expensive as you think by planning ahead for it). In the bathroom, always consider a curbless shower – which are not only accessible, but also modern and attractive – as well as blocking in the walls for grab bar installations. Designing a home with these features virtually eliminates the heavy expense of major renovations later, and ensures your home is welcoming to all family members and guests they may have.
Once the physical needs of all family members are taken into consideration, it’s important to remember the other aspects of shared living that affect our comfort and independence. In order to allow privacy and comfort to more than one generation, consider home plans with a dual master bedrooms (see the “Fairview” plan as an example). Recreational rooms (also known as bonus rooms, offices, or media rooms) can provide space for family members to read, watch TV, work, or host visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house (see the “Asheville” plan with a second-floor bonus room and third-floor game room). Multiple bathrooms – some in bedroom suites – ensure everyone has privacy. A home doesn’t have to be huge to incorporate many of these features that can make it livable and keep the family happy for years to come (see the “Juniper” plan as an example).
So if you’re planning to live with multiple generations in your home, take the time now to design a home everyone will be able to enjoy. Remember – it’s far less expensive to build a fully accessible home now than try to make renovations later. By purchasing your house plans from LifeStage, you’ll show your family that you’ve considered safety, access, comfort, and independence as you make your plans to live together.
LifeStage Home Designs can work with you to develop the home of your dreams. Simply find a plan that you like, then talk to our expert designers to add the features your family needs – whether that’s a larger garage, an elevator, an enclosed porch, or more.