As people age, they often find that their living situations no longer meet their needs. Whether it's due to health issues, financial constraints, or a desire to simplify their lives, older adults may choose to move in with their adult children. This phenomenon is known as the "reverse-boomerang effect," and it has become increasingly common in recent years. While this can be a great option for some families, it also requires careful consideration and planning to ensure everyone's needs are met. Here are six things to consider in preparation for a reverse-boomerang:
1. Have open and honest conversations
Before making any decisions, it's important to have open and honest conversations that involve both parents and siblings about the possibility of them moving in with you. Discuss expectations, boundaries, and concerns that everyone may have. Be sure to listen to needs and wishes and try to find a solution that works for everyone.
2. Create a living space
Once it is decided that your parents will move in, it is important to create a living space that meets their needs. This may mean renovating a spare bedroom or adding an extension to your home. Be sure to consider their current and future mobility and accessibility needs when designing the living space.
3. Establish routines and expectations
Living with parents as an adult can be an adjustment for everyone involved. Establishing routines and expectations can help make the transition smoother. Discuss meals, chores, and other daily activities, and be clear about each person's responsibilities.
4. Consider their healthcare needs
As people age, their healthcare needs may become more complex. Consider whether you will be responsible for coordinating their medical care or if they will continue seeing their own healthcare provider. If they have ongoing medical needs, you may need to make modifications to your home to accommodate them.
5. Plan for socialization and independence
Living with adult children can be isolating for parents, particularly if they moved away from their own community. Be sure to plan for socialization and independence by encouraging parents to maintain their hobbies and interests, and help them connect with local organizations or social groups.
6. Discuss finances
Moving in with adult children can have financial implications for both parties. Discuss how expenses will be split, and whether any financial support will be provided by either party. If you are planning on making renovations to your home, be sure to budget accordingly.
The reverse-boomerang effect is a growing trend that reflects the changing nature of family dynamics and the challenges faced by older adults. While it is not without its challenges, it can offer a sense of security, comfort, and intergenerational support. As the population ages and economic pressures continue to mount, it is likely that more and more families will choose to embrace this trend and explore the benefits of living together as a multigenerational household. Ultimately, the decision to have parents move in with adult children should be made with the best interests of everyone involved.