Homeowners both enjoy and dread a loved one returning to their home. Whether it is an elderly parent or an adult child returning after college, creating a welcoming and comfortable space can be challenging.
Baby Boomers, generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, are also called the Sandwich Generation. This is because they frequently are living with their elderly parents and/or returning adult children.
This sociological trend is due to a number of factors. In the case of living with elderly parents, the cost of in-home health and assisted living services can be twice as much as a mortgage payment. There can also be a need for Boomers to have their parents in close proximity to make sure they are properly cared-for.
The so-called Boomerang Generation, adult children who were living on their own during, or after, their post-secondary education, moving back with their parents has been increasing. This has been attributed to a lack of affordable housing in some areas of the US, the amount of student debt carried, and postponement of marriage and children, among other factors.
Should you be a Boomer and find yourself in either or both of those situations, here are some thoughts on how you can make your now, or soon-to-be, multi-generational home more harmonious.
Depending upon your means, the size of your lot, and your local zoning ordinances, building a tiny-home might be an option. A tiny-home is loosely defined as a smaller, separate structure that shares a lot with another structure. These smaller structures usually range from between 100 and 400 square feet, as opposed to the typical American home, which averages 2,600 square feet. These structures offer the individual privacy and space while being in close proximity to the main home. These are also considered because they can be converted into an office, art studio, wood shop, etc. or a rentable space as those who are living in your home move on.
More commonly, Boomers elect to either remodel the lower level as an apartment or combine two adjacent bedrooms in to a living suite.
When a separate living space is created, ultra-efficient use of space and storage is very important. Fortunately, we at Davis Cabinetry are well-versed in designing high-utility spaces with small footprints.
When designing a space for an elderly parent, it is important to not only account for existing physical ailments, but those that may occur in the future. Doorways, the heights of countertops, electrical outlets, toilets, shower entries, and flooring should comply with ADA standards. Flooring should allow for easy movement of a wheelchair and exterior doors may need to be double-wide to accommodate hospital beds.
If you’re building out a full kitchen for a live-in guest it could seem as though it would take a chunk out of your savings, but our newest partner would be the perfect fit for you. BJ Tidwell is a high-value, high variety, 100% American-made cabinet manufacturer that is perfect for an additional, small kitchen.
Although, this blog post is not meant to be all-inclusive, it is meant to foster some thought as to what can be done to an existing home or lot to get ready for your elderly parent or returning adult child.