When everyone is still healthy and happy, HOW does one start conversation around future living arrangements and future care for parents?
It may seem awkward at first, but with some forethought, the conversation can flow very naturally and can be understood for what it is: A beautiful gesture. For most families, this is uncharted territory.
If you are the child of elderly parents considering your parents future, or older parents making living plans for the next 20 years, you have likely thought about what future living and care options exist. That’s the first step. Parents should be asked to think about how they see the next 10 – 20 years unfolding in preparation for a casual family gathering of parents and siblings to bring ideas together. I do encourage families to include all siblings, when possible, and ensure all ideas are discussed, keeping the mood of the first gathering comfortable and casual. Discuss the basics: hear their wishes, discuss aging in place, homecare and care homes. But also open the conversation to more unique living arrangements, like multi-generational living. Who might have the right space, or the bandwidth to provide support and care, or benefit from the grandparents support and care while they are still young and active.
All you really want from the first family meeting is an understanding of the older generation’s wishes and a list of options, both those around their wishes and other new ideas that might be worth exploring. Maybe your family has never thought about multi-generational living!
After the meeting, take time to digest ideas that come out of the gathering. Send family members to @onestoneliving for insight into multi-generational living. And stay tuned for more on creating the right space to make multi-generational living a desirable option for everyone involved.