For 25 years we have helped seniors and their families in transition. Most of the people we worked with did not want to move but needed to. Often I would hold people in my arms, say nothing but comfort and give them hope in the midst of a stressful time. With Covid, the thing I missed most was being unable to “hug” people.
Years ago we would move one senior a year to be near their family. In 2020 we helped many. Some moved to be part of their grandchildren’s formative years and others moved to support a single adult child with child care. The older seniors wanted to be near family as their health deteriorated and they needed family support.
We have seen many cases where homes were custom designed and built or renovated to make multi generational living easier. At times the seniors took the initiative but frequently it was their caring supportive families. Sometimes it was a two bedroom unit with a full kitchen, a separate entrance and even a garage. Other times it was a bedroom suite in a family residence.
The elderly often feel isolated and move to be part of a community. With Covid many were confined to their rooms and had meals delivered to their doors. Many were frustrated and depressed that they had moved to be with people now they were in an unfamiliar place without much human contact. We have always said “When you move it should be to a better quality of living.” This was not!
When Covid hit, many families “rescued” their loved ones from care facilities. Some eventually returned but many didn’t. The children put support and services in place to help meet everyone’s needs.
Before Covid seniors did not want to move. Now they really don’t want to move.
Housing needs seem to be changing. When seniors moved in with their families often they were alone much of the day. Many people are now working from home and could make time for a “coffee break” with a parent during their work day. Don’t forget that its important to set boundaries so the work gets done. Children could play a board game, cards or work on a jig saw puzzle with a grandparent. A pet can be an excellent companion too.
People have missed friends and family. People have missed special celebrations. Is it time to have a closer look at multi-generational living?
If you or a senior you know is downsizing or having to downsize their possessions and needs help, please contact us. Covid or not, we are always here to help.