According to the United States Census Bureau, multi-generational family households are defined as households consisting of “three or more generations of parents and their families.” As economic hardships continue to plague families across the country, these types of households are becoming increasingly common. As of 2010, 4.4 million U.S. homes held three generations or more, which is a 15 percent increase from 2008.
Unemployment and lower income levels as a result of the recession have prompted many families to change their living arrangements to make room for additional members, but many others do so in order to better care for aging parents. Although this trend is on the rise, multi-generational households are not always successful.
What are some of the challenges of multi-generational households? And how can homecare systems or homecare software ease the burden of family caregiving? Let’s take a closer look at this unique household arrangement.
Identifying Potential Complications
The key to a successful multi-generational household is for all members to identify and address all potential challenges and conflicts before they become major problems. Good communication is essential, as well as reasonable expectations. A few questions to consider might be:
- How long will these arrangements last?
- Who will be expected to care for whom?
- Could our needs be better met by a qualified caregiver with the help of reliable home care software that would give us real-time visibility to our loved one’s daily activities?
- How will we ensure personal space and privacy?
- How will we divide household responsibilities, such as cooking and cleaning?
- Who will shoulder the majority of the financial burden?
Understanding the goals of each family member and determining whether the situation will be temporary or permanent will help develop realistic expectations and set the tone for conflict resolution.
Home Care Systems Offer Additional Solutions
Even when families live together in one home, it doesn’t always solve the problem of elder care. Family caregivers are often responsible for young children in addition to their older relatives, and may work secularly as well. In many cases, family caregivers become overworked and overwhelmed. A crowded home environment may contribute to a family caregiver’s stress.
Working with a reputable home care agency – even for part-time assistance – can often be exactly what is needed for stress relief. More and more agencies are providing helpful home care systems and home care software such as ClearCare Online, which offers dependable care management solutions for seniors and their loved ones.
In addition, home care systems may allow for more secular work. The National Alliance for Caregiving discovered nearly 70 percent of working caregivers reduced their hours, took a leave of absence, or chose early retirement as a result of their caregiving duties. Family caregivers can lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages and pension benefits – unless they get help from professional caregivers to shoulder some of the load.
When families take advantage of home care systems and home care software, they are more at liberty to spend time away from the home. Recreational activities and vacations are much more enjoyable when families can check in on their aging relatives via ClearCare Online’s web-based home care software. They can verify that their loved one’s caregiver has arrived on time and that all important daily tasks have been completed as scheduled.
Whether you live alone, with your immediate family, or with an entire houseful of relatives, ClearCare Online is here to help.