Baby Boomers Prepare for Elderly Parents to Move In

The number of multi-generational households is likely to double over the next few years, according to a recent report published by PulteGroup, a national homebuilding company.

Thanks to a rapidly aging population and a down economy, more and more baby boomer homeowners are seeing their adult children return to the nest, or are faced with the decision of allowing aging parents to reside in the familial abode.

This trend has been gradually gathering momentum over the past few years.

According to a different study by the Pew Research Center, 2008 marked a record year for multi-generational living, with 49 million Americans residing in a household containing two or more adult age groups. About 20 percent of seniors (aged 65 and older) reported staying in a house with multiple generations.

The PulteGroup survey found that a significant number of middle-aged adults are either already living with aging parents, or expect that they will have to do so in the future.

Of those homeowners, 72 percent anticipate having to revamp their current residence, or purchase a new one to accommodate their senior tenants.

According to the survey, the caregiver wish list for home modifications includes a number of different features: more bathrooms, separate living areas (mother-in-law suites) and more expansive family rooms.

Women were more likely than men to place a high value on personal space, with 62 percent saying they desired distinct living areas for aging relatives.

A difficult decision for families

There’s no easy answer to the question: Should I move my parent into my home?

Adult children often struggle when deciding whether their elderly parent(s) should move in with them, enter a senior housing community, or continue living on their own.

There are many factors to take into account when pondering the living-with-family option—individual family dynamics, your loved ones’ health conditions, availability of space, financial considerations, etc.

Moving an aging relative into your home may make financial sense, but it’s also important to consider the impact the added dynamic will have on your existing relationships. Consider the following article: Living with Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?

Respondents to the PulteGroup survey indicated their mixed feelings on the inter-generational relationship front—citing increased family bonding opportunities as a benefit of living with aging parents, while admitting that having more than one generation living underneath the same roof made for a more argumentative environment overall.

Empty Nester No More: Boomers Brace for Parental Tenants originally appeared on

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By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

That surprises me!

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Great post--thanks. I guess my sister will be looking after mama...I volunteer at a seniors residence and I must say how disappointed I am to see how few children/family visit their elderly parents. Appalling really. Thanks

Genoveva M.
Genoveva M M4 years ago

Baby boomers so have it hard in so many ways.

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K4 years ago

Not having multiple generations living together was an artifact of the post war period, and an unhealthy one at that, and we should all get our noses out of our navels and realize that it was a failed experiment who's time has ended with the pensions that made it briefly possible. I grew up in a house with a grandmother and a great grandfather in residence, and another set of grandparents across the street, and it was an infinitely richer environment in which to learn about the world than the homes of my less fortunate friends. When my mother and my step father reached their mid 80's, they required some assistance. I gladly lived with them to provide it, and they both died at home, as they wished. It was an honor and a duty, and is completely normal. Wake up, people.

Marie W.
Marie W4 years ago

Sandwhich generation.

Linda F.
.4 years ago

i vote yes for euthanasia. when i can no longer live on my own and make my own decisions i want to leave this place, permanently. i see thousands of non contributing old people clogging the hospitals, health system, filling up homes, paying three thousand a month for a room, filling the pockets of pretend do gooders. i am a senior and i want no part of it. to quote our neighbours to the south. give me liberty or give me death

Ann W.
Ann W4 years ago

Families and adult siblings need to plan in advance. It is common for people to reach age 90 now. Articles like this need to be shared.

Deborah W.
Deborah W4 years ago

After the move-in, found often to be more problematic than solution chosen. Preplanning, with all its pros and cons, must allow serious and honest input from all sides ... listen, talk, choose ... or be sorry later.

Phillipa W.
Phillipa W4 years ago

rough times. Already many people live with their parents until they're in their 30's. Sad that the greed of a few can impact on the lives of so many.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you, for Sharing this!