The so-called “sandwich generation” – the baby boomers who are caregivers to both children and elderly parents – are making housing decisions that will accommodate all generations. If you are among the estimated 16 million Americans sandwiched in this crowd, you may be debating the best steps to make your current home work for your situation.
Remodeling to add an “in-law suite” is one way to expand your home to welcome elderly relatives. In-law suites can be a simple master bedroom and bath, or they can be as elaborate as a suite, bath, sitting area and kitchenette. Any of these are valuable resale features, and can be marketed as two master suites. It will be ideal for people in a similar situation, a family with returning adult children, or a younger family.
Plan your home addition with special consideration for aging and accessibility – no stairs, even flooring, and spacious walkways. Keep bathroom fixtures simple and easy to grasp, and fall-proof the area. Make sure everything is easy to navigate and safe for both younger and older users. If you’re including a sitting area, make it bright and open, with lots of natural light, if possible. A sliding glass door or French door lets light in and allows some access to the outdoors. These little details will give your elderly residents a sense of independence, as well.