4 Types of Multigenerational Living Arrangements

By Leah Felderman  

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granny pod

  Need help finding care?

Thinking about testing out the waters of multigenerational living, or ready to plunge right in? Explore the many options available to see which is the best fit for your foray into multigenerational living!

Move Grandma into your family home

The easiest option to test out a potential shift in family living is to move Grandma right in!

A private room is a must and it is helpful if the oldest member of your household has their own bathroom. Although moving into an existing family home is the "easiest" option for most families while testing the waters of cohabitation, it still takes quite a bit of planning. Grandma's mobility and safety concerns are two major points to consider. Stairs, bathroom accessibility, and over all safety of the home are but a few factors that need to be examined. Hiring an occupational therapist to assess Grandma's new environment is a sound decision. The occupational therapist will be able to examine Grandma's new surroundings and make suggestions (including the addition and use of adaptive equipment) on how your elderly loved one can best, and safely accomplish their activities of daily living.

Move Grandma into an existing auxiliary dwelling unit

Move Grandma into your home with a private space just for her!

If you are fortunate to have a property with an existing auxiliary dwelling unit you can move Grandma right in to an ideal situation! Auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) take many forms, the most popular type is an in-law apartment or suite. They can be in a separate wing of the house or its own separate building. Some ADUs are designed and built for their specific purpose such as an in-law suite, granny flat, or garage apartment; they already have the appropriate electric, water, and sewer needs incorporated and may need just minimal retrofitting for Grandma. Other ADUs are conversions of basements, garages, carriage houses, or pool houses to accommodate a guest or permanent resident. If you have a converted auxiliary dwelling unit, it is recommended to have the space retrofitted and refurbished by a building professional specializing in aging in place clients.

Create a new residence made just for Grandma

Invest in a new space for Grandma that is ready to accommodate her evolving needs for aging in place.

Whether adding onto your existing home or adding an entirely new residential building to your property make certain to hire professionals that understand, incorporate, and accommodate the needs of the residents that will be aging in place. Growing in popularity are "Granny Pods" that are prefabricated homes offering an array of aging in place features, from handicap accessibility to padded floors to remote monitoring (just to name a few). There are a variety of companies that offer "Granny Pods" but MedCottage is considered to be the original!

Move Grandma, and the rest of the family, to a new home!

Ready to make the commitment to multigenerational living? Make a move and find a new family home for everybody!

At first this may not seem like the most logical option, but it's not too far off base considering just how often Americans move. Census bureau statistics show that on average approximately 10-15% of the population moves annually. Perhaps there were already thoughts of relocation due to work or school, or perhaps moving would be solely to accommodate Grandma. Regardless of the impetus for relocation, keep in mind the many home options to choose from that can accommodate your new family dynamic. There are a growing number of builders and communities that specialize in multigenerational living arrangements. When starting your search for a new home includes terms such as "multigenerational living" and "lifelong neighborhoods".

Leah Felderman BA MA

About the Author

Leah Felderman is a proud alumnus of University of Central Florida (BA) and San Diego State University (MA). She has worn many occupational hats including teaching, hospitality management, government contractor and non-profit organizer. She is an intrepid international traveler having visited over 60 countries before happily settling down into her new life chapter of domesticity as a mom and Coast Guard wife.

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