Wednesday, April 5, 2017
We all know about housing for elders, whether a CCRC, independent living, age-restricted housing, active adult housing, whatever one calls it. I was interested in this article from Kaiser Health News that discusses older adult children moving into the same housing complex for elders as their parents. Boomerang Seniors: Aging Adults Move To Be Near Mom Or Dad covers how the aging adult kids, whether members of the Boomer or Silent generations, are caring for their elder parents, and doing so by living nearby in the same housing complex.
Caregiving for an older family member is not what it was when first studied and coined as the “sandwich generation,” those people squeezed between aging parents and young children, said Amy Horowitz, a professor of social work at Fordham University in New York City.
“Now it’s the children who are on the verge of retirement or who have retired and are still having responsibility of older parents,” she said. “In New York City, I know somebody whose almost-90-year-old mother is living in the same apartment building. It becomes, how do you balance your own life?”
These very old parent and elder child relationships seem to be increasing, according to the article. It makes sense, when you consider the fastest growing segment of the population is the 85+ group. So with all of us living longer, the reality is that the children are past retirement age and caring for a parent who is in that "old-old" age cohort.
The article profiles some folks who have made this move. One couple profiled "are great-grandparents. Yet they’re among a growing group of seniors with a living parent, which means these 21st-century post-retirement years might well include parental caretaking. Expectations are altered amid the new reality of longer life expectancy and growing numbers of aged Americans." One expert interviewed for the article describes this trend as "aging together". The highlights advantages to such arrangements such as the adult child not having to drive to visit mom.