With longer lifespans the Sandwich Generation is more 'real' than ever, with many Baby Boomers helping both aging parents and adult children. There are many reasons why your aging parents may move in and your adult children may move back to the family home, but when it happens it is important to establish some ground rules so YOU don't end up wanting to move out!
Establish who is responsible for what
- Who pays for what
- Who is responsible for things such as...
- Household shopping
- Household maintenance
- Snow and lawn care
- Child/elder care
Respect each other
- Let others know when you are coming and going so they don't worry
- Don't ask someone else to do something you aren't willing to do
- Don't judge the way another person lives
- Don't tell someone else how to do their job (i.e. parenting, working, living)
- Respect different schedules
- Identify 'public' and 'private' spaces, and keep them that way
- Don't subject your housemates to your tastes in music, scents, friends
- Keep lines of communication open
- Express concerns with love and respect in a timely manner rather than letting them fester
- Seek to solve problems rather than assign blame
- Set regular family council meetings as a time to discuss what is and isn't working
The bottom line is, approach every aspect of living together with love, respect and understanding... and the desire to make things work.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Baby Boomer Realtor