If you’ve been reading my blogs on baby boomers, you’ll know that not all boomers are the same. I’ve talked about Adventure Boomers and Entrepreneurial Boomers. Today, I want to talk about Sandwich Boomers. Perhaps you are one?
What are Sandwich Boomers?
Sandwich Boomers are those who are living with their aging parents under one roof. They might also be housing their adult children. For those of you who are Sandwich Boomers, you have your hands full. Often, your situation is only temporary. Maybe your mom or dad (or both) are just staying with you while other arrangements can be made. And those adult kids? Perhaps they are just transitioning between college and work. Or, maybe they are living with you while they save up enough money to buy their own place. Regardless of whether your “sandwich” situation is temporary or more long-term, it’s not without challenges. But, because you are motivated by traditional family values and duties, you want to support those you love and you readily accept the challenges.
If you are a Sandwich Boomer, you may want to explore multi-generational housing. An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or an “in-law” suite might be good choices for you. Anything that allows you to feel connected, but also to maintain a sense of privacy is ideal. Multi-generational living has its own unique considerations, so most people in your situation look for housing that allows for a degree of independence, yet also allows for family interactions. Often, a small kitchenette for mom and dad (or junior) does the trick. Separate wings with private entrances also go a long way in providing a sense of privacy. Communal areas are great, but if you can create separate living spaces for each family, there will likely be less stress and communal moments will be more enjoyable.
Are you in the throes of multi-generational living or considering the idea? My hat’s off to you! You are among those special people who are willing to do what needs to be done to support those you love. You’re someone who truly enjoys connectedness and you probably gain a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you are helping those around you. Just be sure that whatever space you inhabit, provides you with your own sense of privacy. You deserve it and so does your peace of mind!