Seventy-five years ago it was very common for families in America to house several generations under one roof. It was typical for Dad to be the breadwinner, Mom to be the homemaker and the children to be surrounded by an aunt, grandparent or even great grandparent.
Meals might not have been very elaborate but many hands made for happy hearts. Family meant it was a team effort to make sure all were fed. Perhaps Auntie never married, but she would pitch in with her own finances and house cleaning efforts to make her contribution. I believe this way of life was a product of the Great Depression when people believed in banning together and never questioned the concept of caring for one another, even if it meant they would go with a little less for themselves.
Joe and Estelle were perfect examples of multi-general living. Their parents migrated to the states from Europe and settled in an area where others who spoke their native tongue congregated. This little ban of immigrants set up shops, places of worship, restaurants, bakeries etc. When others came from their homeland they offered living spaces and helped them out until they could make it on their own.
This behavior was not simply an act of kindness but a passion to help people. Joe was a United States post man for 30+ years and holidays meant a lot to him. He would walk through the sleet and snow on Christmas morning and seek out the military servicemen that were stranded at the train and bus stations. He would invite as many as he could find to their home for a hot holiday meal and a cold beer or two. Sharing life meant opening your heart and your home.
Our nation has seen many versions of what we call family. Today we see a resurgence of baby boomers who finally got done raising their children just to discover their own parents now need them! They need to make life decisions for Mom and Dad. In a society that used to place so much importance on independent living, we see a turning of the tide.
Millennials aren’t so anxious to leave home and pay inflated rent prices. Sometimes teen parents need the help of Mom and Dad to raise the youngest member of the family. Grandparents that have become feeble are now being invited into the homes of their adult children. As wonderful as it is to celebrate life with multiple generations under one roof, it presents challenges of its own.
How does one give Gramma the opportunity to carry the infant but not endanger the wee one with a tumble down the stairs because of her unsure footing? What about the fancy tub that is now too slippery for the seniors in the house? There are many options for families these days, but the best plan is to seek out a reputable company with years of expertise that can come to the home and provide a free consultation. The better companies (and better doesn’t mean more expensive) will offer a 3D image of possible remedies to keep your family safe and happy.
This is a life event we will all encounter at some point in time. Why not seek out someone who specializes in these various ages and stages of life, to help walk you through the process with options and confidence?