The 3G Effect: When Parents Move In
The 3G family, where all three generations, grandparents, parents and their children all live together under one roof, is becoming more common in the UK. Parents are choosing to move in with their adult children rather than having a hired caregiver, or paying for a nursing home. Whether your parents are at an age where they need to be looked after or are fit and healthy but unable to pay for their own household, welcoming them into yours doesnâ€™t need to be daunting. There are a few things you should think about before your parent(s) come to live with you.
1. Home Improvements
You will need somewhere for your parents to rest their heads at night, so your first point of call should be arranging their bedroom. If you donâ€™t have a spare room, it might mean having the children share their room if they are willing. Chances are that you will be able to put up a room, with a TV and a chair or two fairly easily. Remember your parents come with belongings so ensure that they will have somewhere to put them when they arrive at your house.
If you have elderly parents moving in you should take into consideration their mobility issues if they have any. It might mean putting in handles or a ramp at your front door, a stair lift if all your bedrooms are upstairs, adding in handles or a shower chair in your bathroom. Most of these are easy to have fitted in.
2. Can They Help You?
If you choose not to charge parents board at your house there are other ways that they can help you to your house. Your parents could help contribute to the household bills, or help you do some of the chores around the house whilst you are away at work. Your mother (or mother-in-law) might be a fabulous cook and could prepare the evening meals or your father (or father-in-law) could pick the children up from school. One of the biggest and probably best advantages, of having your parents live with you is that your parents can help towards childcare costs. They could do this by completely getting rid of them.
The advantage of having your parents look after your children is that they are trustworthy and you wonâ€™t have to spend the day worrying about getting a call from the nursery that your child is ill. Your parents will probably know what to do in most situations and can take them back home. However if you do choose to do this- your parenting style may be completely different to your parents style so make sure youâ€™ve discussed your preferences and have reached an agreement. Itâ€™ll be a great way to ensure that your parents also feel valued and donâ€™t see themselves as a burden to the family, but as a welcomed addition.
3. Make Moving Day as Smooth as Possible
Before your parents arrive they might want to send over some of their things, such as their favourite pieces of furniture. Make sure their room has enough space for all their beloved belongings to go into and be sure to talk to them about what they really want to keep ahead of the move to avoid undue stress if certain things simply canâ€™t come with them due to space constraints.
It might be a good idea that you organise when the move should happen so you can be on hand to help them pack and decide what they want to keep, put into storage or sell.
Once youâ€™ve helped them sort through their things you can then set a moving date, book it into your diary so you can be at their house when they move out and be on hand to move them into your home.
To make the whole experience stress free for your parents, why not book the moving company yourselves. You can do the chasing up to take the stress away from your parents who can focus on packing and sorting out important documents.
4. Discuss How You Live
In order to help parents settle in it might be worth discussing what happens in a typical week at your household. Consider going over things like meal times, chores, pets (if you have any), any social activities that you take part in, when you leave and get home from work and what time the kids get back home. Once youâ€™ve had this conversation, your parents will understand what typically goes on in your home and can adapt to fit into your routines.
5. Are you Ready?
Remember you are a team and a family â€“ living together doesnâ€™t need to be hard or difficult. If you know you arenâ€™t ready to have your parents move in with you it is best to be honest with them. Do not feel guilty if living together simply isnâ€™t an option as there are plenty of other solutions such as sheltered accommodation that will ensure your parents comfort and safety.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you and your parents are completely satisfied with the choice.
Anisha works alongside twomenandatruck.co.uk and has experience in living with grandparents and parents, therefore understands the benefits and potential obstacles of living in a 3G household.
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