For most of human history, family members of all ages lived together. In many cultures, family caregiving is viewed as a demonstration of respect for elders, but this sense of duty can come with steep repercussions. In the U.S., multigenerational living was the norm for generations. That tradition waned in the U.S. with the rise of home care and senior living communities across the country, which offered new alternatives for aging parents and their adult children.
Now, the trend of multiple generations living together is back: Boomerang children are returning home and nearly 1 in 3 care recipients live with a family caregiver, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.
In some cases, this leads to growing relationships (or mending them) and creating new memories with you, your spouse, and even your children. In others, it leads to exhausting disagreements, strained relationships with spouses, and the feeling that you are being pulled in many different directions.
Each elder and family dynamic is different, so it’s challenging to predict what setting an aging loved one would prefer and whether everyone could cohabitate well.
For some aging parents, the right move is into their adult child’s home. However, for many the question of whether you should live with an aging parent isn’t as straightforward as you might think.