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Multigenerational Living During a Health Crisis


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multigenerational-living-covid-19.jpg​The coronavirus health pandemic has zeroed in on the challenges that the many multi-generational households face when it comes to staying safe and healthy. According to the Pew Research Center, households with three or more generations – for example, a grandparent, an adult child and a grandchild of any age – housed 28.4 million people in 2016.

During COVID-19, many families chose to keep their older adults at home to help protect them from the potential for infection and disease spread.

Caution continues to be the best course of action, experts note. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “If your household includes one or more vulnerable individuals then all family members should act as if they, themselves, are at higher risk.”

The CDC also advises limiting errands when possible, avoiding putting older adults in a position to care for children or others who are sick, and separating a household family member who is sick. If someone is ill, provide a separate bedroom and bathroom for the person who is sick, if possible. If you cannot provide a separate room and bathroom, try to separate them from other household members as much as possible. Keep people at higher risk separated from anyone who is sick.

Is Multigenerational Living Right During COVID-19?

Combining households can come with advantages. If you are thinking of making such a move, first ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have the resources to take care of mom or dad in my home?
  2. Do mom and dad move in with me or vice versa?
  3. Is my home safe for them and, if not, what changes should be made?
  4. How do I make sure I have time for myself?
  5. Does our family get along well, and if not, how can we improve our relationships?
  6. Will there be privacy for all members of our family?
  7. Can we afford any changes or enhancements that need to be made to my home to accommodate mom or dad?

Older adults may have concerns, too. Consider what may be going through their minds, like: Will I lose my independence? Is it better for me financially to remain in my own home or to move in with my family? How should we handle separate checking and savings accounts? What about joint expenses?

There can be plenty of reasons why keeping family close can be a good thing during COVID-19 and its aftermath. Learn more at The Benefits of Home.

Looking for advice?

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones. (Privacy Policy)

Home Instead offers free monthly newsletters with tips and advice for caregivers of elderly loved ones. (Privacy Policy)

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