Too Close for Comfort? Senior Care Expert Says Intergenerational Living Presents Opportunity for In-Home Care Franchises

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The increasing number of seniors now living under the same roof with at least one other generation indicates an increasing need for in-home care. This growing demand prompted Home Instead Senior Care® to launch a public education campaign - Too Close for Comfort? - to help families cope with intergenerational living and determine when outside care is needed.

People need independence, but seeking interdependence and family unity are important as well, particularly in today's hectic and demanding world.

It's happening in the White House and in homes throughout the country. When President Barack Obama's mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, settled in with her family in Washington earlier this year, they became part of a growing national trend.

The increasing number of seniors now living under the same roof with at least one other generation is more than just political news -- it's indicative of a growing need for in-home care for seniors. According to a recent survey conducted for Home Instead Senior Care 43 percent of adult caregivers in the U.S. (ages 35 to 62) reside with the parent, stepparent, or older relative for whom they or someone else in their household provides care (1). The Census Bureau confirms this growing trend: In 2000, 2.3 million (2) older parents were living with their adult children; by contrast, in 2007, that number jumped to 3.6 million (3) - a 55 percent increase.

These figures prove the growing demand for senior caregiving services, such as medication reminders, meal preparation, personal care, and companionship - all services that Home Instead Senior Care franchises provide.

The challenges that can arise have prompted Home Instead Senior Care to launch a public education campaign on intergenerational living to help families determine if living together is a good idea. The campaign will help adult children begin to address such issues as the stress of caregiving under one roof, adapting a home for two or more generations, merging household finances, and determining when they need outside senior care.

Several factors are driving this trend, according to Paul Hogan, CEO and co-founder of Home Instead Senior Care. "We see families coming together to share family caregiving duties for economic reasons and emotional support," he said. "But that does not mean that family caregivers will not need respite, which is exactly what Home Instead Senior Care franchises can provide."

At the center of the campaign is the Too Close for Comfort? handbook, available free from local Home Instead Senior Care offices, which addresses the emotional, financial, and comfort and safety issues of intergenerational living. The Home Instead Senior Care home office is committed to continually providing franchises with resources to assist prospective clients with senior care decisions.

The handbook was compiled with the assistance of three national experts: Matthew Kaplan Ph.D., Penn State Intergenerational Programs extension specialist; Adriane Berg, CEO of Generation Bold and a consultant on reaching boomers and seniors; and Dan Bawden, founder of the CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialists) program for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Make Way for Mom Web site provides additional support and information, including a calculator that will help families compute and compare whether living together or maintaining separate residences is the best financial option.

Penn State's Matt Kaplan said that families should approach decisions of combining households and hiring outside care from a partnership perspective. "People need independence, but seeking interdependence and family unity are important as well, particularly in today's hectic and demanding world."

Sources:
1. Survey Methodology: The Boomer Project completed online interviews with 1,279 U.S. adult caregivers, ages 35-62, with a parent, stepparent or older relative for whom they or someone in their household provides cares. Of the 1,279 family caregivers interviewed, 548 live with the senior receiving care.

2. U.S. Census Bureau

3. U.S. Census Bureau

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Dan Wieberg
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