Relationships

Creating a Generational Home

Customs vary around the world, and a couple from very different backgrounds can find their long term relationship is going through growing pains as their family ages. Some families believe older members should be visited at a nursing home, but others feel it is an honour to have their parents move in with them when age makes it impossible for them to live alone. Taking care of adult parents means creating a generational home, and it can be a struggle when one partner was not raised with that idea. Learning to cope with the situation could mean their partner must compromise and give them additional support.

Many youngsters all over the world look forward to striking out on their own, and they enjoy the single life for years before they settle down and begin their own family. Those raised with the idea of a generational home may take it for granted their parents will eventually come to live with them. If their partner was raised with a different future in mind, it could cause dissension or tension within the relationship.

Building a home to accommodate elderly relatives along with children can be an exercise in creative thinking, and it may take a great deal of work before a satisfying situation can be reached. Parents may want their own space, so building a separate entrance for them could be part of the plan. For those who need medical care, finding ways to juggle children, errands and work with caring for them could take extraordinary planning.

Homes with many generations living together are not a new idea, but some modern societies have forsaken them. Relearning the lesson of caring for the elder generation can be a daunting task for a person not expecting it. Their partner may have to help them learn to accept it in small steps that can make the situation easier for everyone.