Multigenerational Living: Is it hard? How does it work?
Lisa Cini is an award-winning, internationally-recognized senior living designer with more than 25 years’ experience.She just released her second book entitled “Hive The Simple Guide to Multigenerational Living,” which is based on her own personal situation of living in a 4-generation household with people in the house ranging in age from 17-92 and the positive impact design can have in a home for seniors with dementia.
Lisa is also the Founder of www.BestLivingTech.com, think Sharper Image meets AARP! She searches the world for the best products to Embrace Living as we age. Her design company, Mosaic Design Studio, is the nation’s leading provider of design services for senior living
According to Lisa, 90% of people do not want to move to Senior Living facilities. A lot of seniors do not want to move into the beautiful Senior Living Facilities Lisa Designs.
Why would someone not want to live in a beautiful Senior Facility where they don't have to cook and there are a ton of activities?
It can be very expensive
People want to age at home
Some of them got their house when they got married or when they got home from the war. They had that same house their entire lives. Giving up their house is like giving up their freedom
Multigenerational living means living with different age groups in one house.
25% of seniors are now living in a multigenerational household
Lisa started living with her parents and grandparents when she started her company. She needed her mom to take care of her kids. Lisa asked her mom to help her raise the kids and her mom agreed. Her parents lived a couple of blocks away from her house so, she thought, her parents need to move in with her. She also convinced her grandmom to move in with them.
How does it work? How do you deal with the different needs of different persons? Lisa tells us stories from her personal experience as she's living with her family from different age groups.
Living with Lisa's parents and grandmother is going well. Her kids love their grandma's food, her parents love the joy her kids are giving them. Of course, nobody's perfect so even if everything is going well, there are some bumpy rides along the way. One of them was storage. Each generation feels differently about the storage of their private things. For example; there are things her grandmother considers private that her mother doesn't. There are also things her mother considers private that Lisa doesn't consider private.
Lisa's grandmother has Alzheimer's. She wanders around so Lisa created a wandering path in her house and used technology. Anything that she could hurt herself on is not on that wandering path. They also installed cameras in her house so that whenever her parents would go out and eat dinner, they would not worry about coming home right away. They could just turn on the camera and talk to her grandmother. Pretty Cool!
Lisa has a 21 point checklist on how to age in place at her website www.lisamcini.com
If you would like to check out Lisa's Books here are the links:
Lisa Woodruff was a previous guest and I brought her back for a second interview to talk about how different generation groups organize
Lisa is a professional organizer, productivity specialist, and author. She believes organization is not a skill you are born with. It is a skill that is developed over time and changes with each season of life. I am an avid listener and big fan of her podcast show at Organize365.com.
I gave Lisa an update on my personal progress and yes, I am making progress! We also talked about my ” Sunday Basket” and if you listen to Episode 88 which was my first interview with Lisa you can learn more about that.
What are the different Generation Groups? The dates can vary depending on where you look but here is a general idea:
The Silent Generation born between 1925 and 1945
Baby Boomer Generation born between 1946 and 1964
Generation X born between 1965 and 1980
Millenials born between 1980 and after
Lisa and I discuss how each generation deals with their “stuff” and what the differences are.
The Silent Generation was born and raised in the Great Depression. They had a lot available to them educationally but not a lot available to them materially. The Silent Generation typically did not have mortgages on their home and did not use credit cards. They were a hard-working and fairly frugal generation. There was not a lot of consumerism while they were growing up.
Baby Boomers were born and raised in the affluence of World War II. This is when consumerism and a lot of toys really came on the market. Barbies, GI Joe, TV's and commercials became prevalent and advertisers started targeting teenagers.
Gen Xer's had all of the toys. They had all of the toys the baby boomers had growing up and then some. The majority of Gen Xers grew up in the 80's which was the height of materialism. In the 80's is when things cost the most and people wanted to accumulate a lot of “stuff”.
Decluttering and downsizing
These items that are in our parents and grandparents homes and attics are things that were hard earned. Baby boomers sometimes have a difficult time getting rid of their things because they worked so hard to obtain them. Take the time to go through those things with your parents or grandparents. Let them tell the stories of how the stuff was obtained and the memories that come with them. Find ways of making memories using the stuff.
Lisa has a lot going on! Below is some information on her workshops, podcast, and books
In this episode, I talk with Veronica Mitchell about the sensitive topic of taking the keys away.
Veronica is a friend of mine who I have known for awhile. We have served on the same committees at the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego and also the San Diego County Council on Aging. Veronica is an advocate for seniors, women, and caregivers. She is a guest blogger and writes her own blog featured on her website. She is passionate about prevention of Elder Abuse and Scams, along with helping families take the keys from their senior loved ones.
You love your parent or spouse, yet you know that they can no longer safely drive. How do you know that it is time to take the keys away? How do you have that conversation with them in a loving and respectful way? Where do you begin? Families members are afraid to approach the subject. It is our last part of our freedom as we age, and it is very emotional subject.
My father's Parkinson's caused his eyes to shut and he was still driving! Obviously, I was panicked and in our family, we had to deal with the tough subject of taking the keys away. Sadly, my story is not uncommon.
Veronica and broke this down into 4 phases:
Have Conversations with your loved ones and start it as early as possible. Have a frank conversation and the most candid approach is best. Don't wait until it is a crisis.
Identify, Observe & Document Unsafe Driving. Follow them and observe their driving. Check out the car and see if there are more dents than usual. When you are driving them around ask them directions to get somewhere. Do they get flustered, angry or confused in traffic?
Create a Plan, Manage the Plan, and Vet All Participants. Coordinate with friends and family members about who is going to drive them to places. They still need to get to places such as doctors appointments or haircuts. They also need social engagement. Make sure there is a plan to get them to social activities so they don't become depressed feeling stuck in one place. Make sure to be flexible and have all family members help.
One in three people over the age of 65 in San Diego have symptoms of dementia. Today we are talking about dementia symptoms.
Ana González Seda is the Program Director for the San Diego/Imperial Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Her position is instrumental in providing face to face and online education and programming for caregivers, people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Ana has been working in the non- profit sector for leading health organizations in San Diego for over 15 years.
I asked Ana to come on the show to tell us about dementia symptoms. If you have a parent or loved one that gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's, I want you to know what to expect.
If you lose your keys, that is not a part of symptoms of dementia. But if you find them in the refrigerator, that could be a sign of dementia
What are the early signs and symptoms of Dementia?
Memory Loss that disrupts daily life
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
Confusion with time or place
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
New problems with words in speaking or writing
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
I asked Karin to come on the show to talk to us about the documents we need to have a great retirement.
Karin Schumacher has been an attorney since 2001. She is regarded as compassionate, accomplished, and dedicated at Elder Law & Advocacy, Legal Aid Society, and San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program. She has effectively served over 12,000 clients.
She talks about her grandfather who was a very “well to do” business owner. (He owned 3 auto supply stores). At the time he passed away in 1975, he had over ten million dollars. He wanted his children and his grandchildren to receive that. The problem was that unbeknownst to him, the Corporate Trustee he used, did not have his best interest at heart. All of his hard-earned money had been squandered. Now in 1975, there was far less oversight on Corporate Trustees and a lot fewer regulations than there are now.
Put these documents in place BEFORE they are needed. Also, update or review them on a regular basis because life events and circumstances change frequently.”
Karin goes over each of these in greater detail during the interview. Below, is the list of documents we need to have a great retirement:
Advanced Healthcare Directive- This is basically your end of life wishes. It is a 55-page document that goes over your medical wishes should you become incapacitated.
Power of Attorney (Springing or Immediate) Springing POA- Only takes place upon incapacity. Immediate- Be cautious here because the moment you sign an immediate POA, the power goes to the agent. However, a POA is one of the documents we need to have a great retirement. Kathe likes the Springing kind.
HIPAA Release (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) – Prohibits Healthcare providers from releasing information unless you have completed a HIPAA release form.
Trust- If you own a home and or assets in California above $150,000 then a Trust will assist in avoiding probate.
Will – If you are distributing assets by other means and don't own a home, then be sure to create a will.
Contact Information for Karin: www.AfsarEstatePlanning.com
Get Today's FREEBIE, Documents we need to have a great retirement by clicking HERE
Special Thanks to:
Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track…and helps with these show notes!
Les Briney, my husband, and Danny Ozment of Emerald City Pro who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
YOU for telling your friends about the show, leaving comments below, and sharing episodes you really like on Facebook, and reviewing the show on iTunes
Today's episode with Chris Cooper was value packed!
If you are currently a family caregiver, or about to become a family caregiver, you need to know about Fiduciaries, and what they do.
A Fiduciary is responsible for the following:
What you might not realize is that Family Members are also responsible for those same areas. Many family members don't realize that they are responsible for all six areas, and tend to only focus on legal and medical issues.
Chris explains that the problems are not necessarily in areas #1 and #5, but are often in the other four areas. For example, people with Alzheimers often have depth perception issues, something which we don't normally think about. Their living space can be an environmental hazard. (See Episode 34 for tips).
Many of the issues that baby boomers need to think about are alien to us, because we don't think about these things. Some of the problems arise when a family member is assigned the task of taking care of mom or dad, and the family doesn't agree. This is where a Fiduciary comes in.
Fiduciaries are trained to work with all six areas. Unlike family members, they've received training.
Children are often not prepared to do all of these things. We have our own lives to live. We have our own stresses. When a family member needs help, we get thrown into the pool, and get our “baptism by fire”. We don't often realize that our parent needs to be seen as an adult. We need to let them live their lives in dignity, and then we can live their lives in peace. Is it right for the children to sacrifice their lives for their aging parents?
Licensed Fiduciaries come from all walks of life. Its many times “the Third Career”. Many are in their late fifteens and sixties. The median age is 58, but many are in their seventies. Their backgrounds are varied, but they have a common bond. They want to help protect seniors.
Chris said that sometimes abusers are a family member, but sometimes they are professionals (like financial advisers or caregivers).
Having a Fiduciary can help protect your family member. Many of these professionals are not trying to harm their clients, but they “don't know what they don't know”. Many are ignorant. They do not know what is in the best interest of their client now that their client's capacity has diminished.
Where is mom to live?
Can you uproot her without harming her?
How does the family get along?
Is there a neighbor bringing donuts to mom, who is a diabetic?
Can we take lessons from the past, and plan for our own retirement lifestyle?
Who needs a Fiduciary?
Disabled Adults and Children
People who need Long Term Care
Caregivers who are having issues within their own families due to the stress of caregiving
Family members who don't agree on care options
Public sources might pay for services that a fiduciary recommends. For example, Medicare might pay for family counseling. The fiduciary can take a look at what is available under public services such as Veteran's Benefits, Medicaid or Medi-Cal, or other programs. Mom and dad might even have the money to pay for some things themselves.
Outside Fiduciaries can often help show the financial records, medical records, etc. to keep the family unit strong. This also can help keep adult protective services, police, and fire departments away.
Everyone is unique, and no two situations are alike. The good news is that Fiduciaries have training that can help.