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Stress-Free Multigenerational Family – Ep 179

Kathe Kline and Jonna Overson talk about a Stress-Free Multigenerational FamilyIn this last episode of our 4 part series, we talk about the article, Multigenerational Families Provide Benefits for Everyone. In the first episode, we talked about Families Living Under One Roof. The second delves into the Pros of Families Living Together. Also, while multigenerational living has its pros it also has its downside, which we discussed in the third episode.

Multigenerational living is one of the hottest trends in housing nowadays. Putting multiple generations under one roof could be a difficult task. However, if done with planning and open communication, it can be successful. A multigenerational household could be meaningful and happy for everyone involved. Anybody who is thinking about entering into this type of living arrangement should follow the tips below to make sure the transition is smooth and stress-free.

Have Family Meetings

Having family meetings depends on the family. In Jonna's household, it’s very calm. There’s a lot of conflict diversion. Not a yelling household. It’s very placid and we don’t do well with hashing out and having a big group discussion. What seems to work for us is to have quiet sharing sessions. One-on-one seems to work better for us.

You have to understand what your loved one is going to be receptive to. After which, create a conversation around that. Your family meetings might be in a big group or they might be a one-on-one conversation so that people are more open. Everybody can have their own style of a family meeting.

Communicate any household Issues with the family members

If you are living in a multigenerational household, communication is key. This goes along with family meetings. In Jonna's house, her husband was doing the laundry and her father also wanted to do the laundry at the same time. So they had to have an intervention. The three of them had to sit down and learn how to communicate with each other on these things. Being open about that communication and being willing to say this isn’t working for me but this way could help. They even had a calendar up so sometimes things get written on the calendar so they know that there won’t be a conflict.

Set Up House Rules in a Multigenerational Home

At the outset of a multigenerational home, you need to be open and honest and set out some ground rules. Jonna tries to avoid conflicts in her multigenerational home. So, what her family did was they created a neutral zone. Early on they just said, your beliefs and values are yours, our views and values are ours. If you want to talk about those beliefs and values do that away from the children and in your own space and vice versa. No politics, religion, and those things that you’re not supposed to talk about at parties. Some families are going to be on the same page and it’s going to work out just fine. They just set the standard early, they had the house rules really clear. It was to protect not only her and her husband but also her father from misunderstanding a conflict.

Establish Financial Responsibilities

For most families, multigenerational or not, money is a sticky subject. Try creating both individual budgets and a shared household budget. The financial bit can definitely be challenging. This is because as an adult child Jonna want to give to her family the whole time. She also had to be very realistic about how long the arrangement might last. Also, why they were doing it in the first place.

Part of her father’s agreement living with them is that they’re building out a second living structure that he’ll have on his own. So, they agreed that he would give them a very small rent. Not even what you would pay for a studio apartment in Southern California to help with the costs. But each family is going to be so unique and different based off of their specific arrangements. People should not feel embarrassed about talking about money or asking for money. Even hashing that out before.

Have a Separate and Shared Spaces for All Family Members in a Multigenerational Home

Make sure your home is ready for sharing. Create some private space and time for everyone. Ideally having separate spaces and having communal spaces are amazing and valuable. In reality, though sometimes when Jonna walked into multigenerational houses where there’s an aging parent that has health issues they might take over the whole floor. The communal spaces are essentially gone. Sometimes it happens that that doesn’t work out. But Jonna thinks that in those situations it’s really important to be cognizant of the space. Sometimes creating a mental boundary can be efficient. Even if you don’t have a clear physical boundary.

Be Good Role Models by Teaching Children to Respect Older Family Members

Children may need reminders to recognize the special bonds and benefits of close grandparent-grandchild relationships. Jonna has a 13-year-old daughter. She has different views than her grandfather. That is why sometimes they will go head to head about opinions. It’s very eye-opening to her to hear Jonna say, maybe it’s time to back off. You can’t talk to him like he is up here, he is your grandfather. He deserves different respect. She’s been learning to deal with that and he’s been learning to talk to her like she’s a person.
Be Flexible

You need to be very clear about where you’ll intervene, what things they need to fix on their own. There are bound to be conflicts and frustrations. Also, there are moments when you long for privacy and freedom. Accept this as fact, and when it happens it won't be so unexpected or catastrophic. Get a little time away, get clear on priorities and go back to your family with a loving approach.

Be Nice

Be kind, be nice to family members regardless of whether they are living with you or not. Especially if they are. It takes a little compassion because it’s hard on everybody in Stress-Free Multigenerational Familythis culture that we live in.

Creating memories and long lasting traditions that will live on is what’s important. Trying to live in a multigenerational way does take some time getting used to. But by making decisions together it can help you have a meaningful and happy life together.
About Our Co-Host

Jonna Overson is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new. You can check out her website at https://greentreehomecare.com/

Mentioned in this Episode:

MissouriFamilies.org – Multigenerational families provide benefits for everyone

www.MedicareQuick.com/Checklist

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Downside of Multigenerational Homes – Ep 178

Downside of Multigenerational HomesIt Can Be a Daunting Task

People who experience multigenerational homes know that it can sometimes have its downside. But it isn’t all that rare in our close-knit society. Where we often find 3 generations of families living under the same roof.

Sometimes, there comes a time that older adults make the decision to give up their home and move in with their adult children. They may not need complete care at all. But the deeper reason here is that they are unable to stay by themselves anymore. This results in a multigenerational household where seniors, their adult children, and young grandchildren are living together under one roof. It can be a daunting task but so can the benefits. And many families are making this thing work.

The Downside of Families Living Together

When you’re living in a multigenerational household, you are stepping outside as we used to as our cultural norm a little bit. Because there are some differing expectations from what we may have thought we were going to have of our future self-picture. There is some emotional conflict that comes from that. This article goes through how the adult child might feel. How the younger people in the house might feel and how it will affect the oldest adult in the generational house. That is why it wraps up by talking about kind of the emotional bullet points. Points of how to maybe make the transition better or easier. Acknowledging that some of these feelings are going to exist helps with how you manage the downside of multigenerational homes.

Downside for Seniors

My father came to live with us last year. We’ve been a multigenerational household from teens all the way up to 60s for that year. There are some really great aspects just like what we’ve talked about on the last episode. The downsides though are also very real. Before my father moved in, I’ve spent some time creating a contract. The contract was more of an acknowledgment of the emotional place of each person in the household.

Having that very different perspective starting place made some difficulties. While the contract was a good intention, sometimes the fine bits got pushed to the wayside. One of the things that I found really interesting about the integrations is that you have a second chance to learn your parent. You have your child perspective and then your adult perspective. The downside though is that sometimes I think that we become our child self with our parent more than we would in any other situation. And they will adopt those same roles.

Downside for Kids

Depending on their age, it can also be difficult for kids to get accustomed to living with their grandparents. They may enjoy spending time with them and have a close relationship, but they will have to get used to a new routine. They will have to share their parents’ attention with their grandparents. It's because their parents may not be able to do with them as many things as before.

Being Really Honest with Your Loved One is Important

I work with adult children bringing in older adults quite often. Those people that have been most successful are the ones that first off come from a place of charity, and giving, and openness. Even before you ever have somebody live with you. Making sure that your heart is in the right place and that it’s not a chore because it can become a chore. It can get to that place. And if you’re not or already in a place of love and openness, then it makes it that much more complicated.

Also, remember to be an advocate for your loved one. Not feeling like you’re doing them a certain favor by having them in your space. But actually, that you’re advocating for their health and happiness. That you want the best for them and you feel like that’s living with you. That you actually implementing that charity of heart and advocating for that happiness. If you’re bringing your mom and your dad in your house, do not be expecting them to be a default babysitter.

Have That Open Dialogue

Having that open dialogue, and asking before you assume. We did go ahead and put him on a monetary agreement. So, we put in a small agreement that he was going to help us with a certain amount of rent and groceries each month and we will cover the rest. Because we had that conversation in the beginning. It set the groundwork really nicely.

If It's Not Meant to Be Just Let It Be
If maybe the relationship wasn’t great and maybe childhood left a bad taste in your mouth. Then it can be difficult for people to integrate into a multigenerational household.Kathe Kline and Jonna Overson on the Downside of Multigenerational Homes

More often multigenerational households are strange. Because they feel that there isn’t another choice. Some because of health or age, maybe a parent who is abusive, or neglectful. Then suddenly becomes the responsibility of the child who's not willing to say I want no responsibility but also has all these conflicting emotions.

If you do not feel comfortable having somebody living in your home. You do not have to do that. No matter how dire and the situation of the health might be. It’s ok for you not to do this. It’s ok for you not to take on this responsibility. If your parent left you in a place where you don’t feel emotionally interested, capable, or well enough to handle that. That’s ok, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human and you have to take care of you first.

About Our Co-Host

Jonna Overson is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new. You can check out her website at https://greentreehomecare.com/

Mentioned in this Episode:

RelationshipMatters.com – Challenges of Multigenerational Family Living

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Pros of Families Living Together – Episode 177

Pros of Families Living TogetherFunctional and Engaging

There are about 49 million families living together in the US. And most of them are in their 20s. From sharing chores to expenses and everything in between. This multigenerational lifestyle is proving to be functional and engaging for many Americans.

There are many upsides to multigenerational living. These days, it’s typical for both partners to work to make ends meet, which raises the issue of childcare. There’s also the problem of finance. Huge mortgages undoubtedly stretch family budgets and relationships.

Multigenerational Living is Changing

A lot of us are out there working hard but it is a different environment then. Things are changing and moving so fast that being a little bit older on the scale. The technology the younger millennials are using blows my mind. It's hard to keep up a little bit.

The economy has changed a lot. Therefore, the job market has changed. So the trend for families living together is really changing. That is because of the factors we talked about in the last episode. Which pertains to the job market and the housing crunch.

Families Living Together Gives Emotional Bonding

You spend 18 – 20 years with a parent from the perspective of an adolescent and a child. All these wonderful memories and preconceived notions of who your parents are based on that perspective. When you enter into the multigenerational household as an adult. Or as a person in your 30s, 40s, and 50s with somebody in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. You suddenly start to see them from a different perspective. And you get so much more from it and remember it too.

Some of those issues that you have as a child, you get to work out as an adult. You'll get to sit down and talk through without having those uninterrupted moments.

Benefits Older Adults

The experience of older adults living together helps them relive the good things for being a parent. And also be part of that in an intimate way. A lot of assisted living communities are bringing in intergenerational programs. And these aren't even kids that are related to them.

You're creating a program so that the children and the teens are understanding what it means to spend time with older generations. That is to say, you're bringing those children in to benefit from the knowledge, wisdom, and patience of our older people. It gives benefit to both sides.

Even with people who have undergone a divorce. Having that stable adult makes a difference in how well the kids acclimate to the new situation. And it seems that having more people that care about you when you're going through the fact that you're parents are breaking can definitely help. Even from the perspective of the adult having that support makes a huge difference.

Financial Benefit

Having that multigenerational element does take the pressure off financially. A lot of people are living together Pros of Families Living Togetherdue to financial reasons. Grandparents could help care for young children. Adult children living together can save money while going to school, finding a job. Or saving money to buy a home of their own.

Just the benefit of freedom and being able to know that there's somebody else who you can pass the torch onto an event. And I wouldn't necessarily have without the benefit of the multigenerational household.

The success of families living together means choosing a way of living that best utilizes the resources of the extended family while fostering closeness. To them, multigenerational living is not a way to live, but a way to thrive.

About Our Co-Host

Jonna Overson is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new. You can check out her website at https://greentreehomecare.com/

Mentioned in this Episode:

Nina Chen – Multigenerational Families Provide Benefits For Everyone

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Families Living Under One Roof – Episode 176

Families Living Under One RoofIs It Time to Rethink?

The multigenerational American family household or in other terms families living under one roof is staging a comeback. It's driven in part by different aspects such as economic stability and also a cultural side of the matter.

The idea that you grow up, go to college, or get a job and get married. Having this beautiful house in the suburbs with two kids is not the way it was in the US. In fact, that's a relatively new phenomenon from the 40s and 50s in that era. So what we think of is normal is kind of a short blip in the American cultural history. There was such a boom in the economy during that time and then with the recession and the rising house prices. It really does seem like that American dream style from that era is shifting a little bit. We're seeing that people are now more creative with their family living arrangements.

The Norm of Living Under One Roof

This norm that we think of that where the parents live in one house, the adult children live in another, and the young adults have their own apartment. That is not the only way to live. And other cultures are bringing a different view of how families live. The fact that America's demographics are changing is influencing that there are more families living under one roof. It's not an unusual thing. People are starting to realize that there's a benefit of having that multigeneration experience in one home. And having more adults in the household is a benefit to helping the kids grow up into good humans

New Technologies Affects How We Live Today

The motivations to bring your parents into your home isn't affected as much as we think it is. It's because there are now opportunities for people to remain where they choose. And the technologies that we didn't have before. Technology opened up a world of possibility for people who need extra help. Giving the people tools that reduce the need for home care keep them independent longer.

A Beneficial Way to Live Under One Roof

As property prices rise, multigenerational living will grow in popularity over time. But bringing the Families Living Under One Roofgenerations under one roof can be easier in a house designed to meet the needs of each family member for privacy and togetherness.

And that means a reassessment of the functions inside of a family home. And also how we go about building, expanding and protecting these houses. As they become home to a growing number of different generations all living under the same roof.

About Our Co-Host

Jonna is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Karen Sternheimer – The Return of Multigenerational Households

www.trustedhousesitters.com

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

How to Increase Brain Power – Episode 175

Kathe Kline and Janet Rich Pittman talk about how to increase brain powerIn the first of four, we discussed how the aging brain affects how you think. The second of four in the series brought you Is your Memory Normal. In the 3rd of four, we’re talking about Alzheimer’s disease, and finally, in today's session, we’re going to talk about how to improve your memory.

Is it possible to increase brain power?

If you've ever found yourself forgetting where you left your keys or having problems with people's names or things, then you have probably wished that your memory was a bit better. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to help improve your memory.

So how will you increase brain power? Let’s dive straight into these easy ways to increase brain power significantly.

We Have to Exercise Our Brain

What you need to do to increase brain power is do something new, something you've never done before. Furthermore, it has to be challenging. Exercising your brain is good but you can't do it solo. You've got to exercise your body in conjunction with your brain.

Challenging your brain makes you sharper and more effective at remembering. Mental challenges like studying complex concepts, make simple tasks like remembering names at a party seem like a piece of cake.

Do Physical Exercise to Increase Brain Power

You have to physically exercise your body and what that does is that it jiggles your stem cells. And your stem cells pop out new neurons. Neurons help you think. They're your train of thought, your subconscious thought, and your conscious thought. If you don't connect those neurons to some older neurons to help get it growing, nurture it and mentor that neuron to get it productive, tt's gonna shrivel up and die.

You really want to keep your stress in check. A great way to keep your stress in check is exercise. Here's an exercise lesson. Using an Elliptical, do HIIT exercise for 7 minutes. First, warm up 1-2 minutes. Then, go 30 seconds with the most energy you can give on that Elliptical. And after that 30 seconds slow down. You can be super slow and do that for a minute and a half. Do that 7 times. That's gonna help you get that sweat going and also help increase brain power.

Get your Zzzz's

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected. Your brain needs downtime to stay sharp and help increase brain power. If you don't get enough sleep, you'll tax your memory and start forgetting things. Stay rested so you can keep your mind alert.

Make Time for Friends

That's part of what I've called the 4 C's of successful aging. And that is care, connect, commit and concentrate. When it comes to improving memory, maintaining health and facing life’s challenges, friendship can truly be a blessing. Strong social ties through friends can preserve our brain health as we age, while social isolation may be a key risk factor for cognitive decline.

Have a Laugh

Spend time with fun, playful people because they're fun to be around. Be around fun, energetic, playful, fit people who can help influence your exercise as well.

Brain-Boosting Diet

We create more neurotransmitters that talk to our neurons in our gut than we do in our head. And so it's very important to eat the right food. You just got to make sure you eat all good, clean, healthy, natural foods. That is so How to Increase Brain Powerimportant to keep your brain functioning and focusing. It's not just your head brain but also your gut brain.

What happens is we damage our gut brain and it eventually leads up to damaging our head brain.

You gotta make sure you have the gumption and fortitude and the strength and the knowledge to say, “You know what, I'm not gonna let aging just sit here and take over me. I am going to meet it head on and I'm going to not only fight it but just gonna come and beat it. And I'm gonna make you that I live the best life possible.”

To keep your memory, you just got to have the mindset that you can do it. And you got to understand what it's gonna take to keep your memory.

About Our Co-Host

Our guest host is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­an expert on memory. She was on the show before, and you can hear more about her credentials on episode 146. Janet Rich Pittman is on a mission to help people fight the effects of aging by powering up their brains. As a Licensed Dementia Administrator and Certified Dementia Practitioner, she has seen firsthand what dementia can do to its victims and their families—and her years of research have taught her that it’s possible to prevent dementia, even REVERSE IT and reclaim your brain.

You can also visit her website at https://janetrichpittman.com

Mentioned in this Episode:

Help Guide: How to Improve Your Memory

19 Ways to Get to Sleep and Stay Sleeping

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com