I just read an article that got me thinking–about families and changes. You’re probably familiar with the description of “boomerang kids”–the adult kids who go off to school or to pursue a career, and then, for whatever reason, boomerang back to live with mom and dad. Well, according to this article, there’s a new set of boomerangs starting to emerge–boomerang moms (or dads)! These new boomerangers are helping make their kids into the sandwich generation–sandwiched in between caring for their own children and their aging parents. It’s something that all of you in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s should think about and possibly plan for.
The Boomer generation (I’m in there) has just started hitting 65–the first wave hit that milestone in 2011. Boomers are one of the largest demographic groups, and we have set trends and been agents of change all our lives. Most boomers are living longer, in better health, and are more active than our own parents and grandparents were at our age. But as we age, time will catch up with us, eventually! Boomer parents may reach a point where they need help around the house, have ongoing health issues, or want to be near to family. There are also financial issues to consider, as cost of living and medical care increases.
One solution–let your boomer parents boomerang back to live with you! A multi-generational household can be a benefit for all the generations. Certainly there will be things to discuss, guidelines and boundaries to establish, finances to work out. But it’s certainly an option that should be considered as parents age. I hope it’s something that can at least be discussed among all the parties involved. I think it’s worth the effort. If everyone is willing to be flexible and seek solutions, it will be life-changing for all involved.
I think this trend will start to be reflected in housing. I think we’ll be seeing more homes being built or remodeled with additional “master” bedrooms that have a separate bath. More universal design and 1-story living areas will be popular. You’ll see more adaptations for limited mobility, safety, comfort, and ease of use. Many cities, San Antonio among them, are seeing a renewed interest in older neighborhoods that are closer to the city–a move back from the suburbs. I think this trend will continue so that transportation options are available for family members who may not need to/want to/ be able to drive but who need to/want to be close to medical facilities, entertainment, services. It will be interesting to see how these trends develop over the next years.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you “sandwiched”? Will you be a “boomerang”? Do you need to adjust your living space?