The housing crisis is hitting many countries in the world. The result is that many households that once lived separately are coming together under one roof. These families have grandparents, parents, and their children, all living in one setting. Multigenerational housing has become part of the solution as it helps reduce housing and care costs.
However, just like every coin has two sides, multigenerational housing has its challenges. In this article, we highlight these challenges to help you understand the dynamics of this phenomenon that is here to stay.
One of the main problems that people in multigenerational families face when living together is less privacy. People who live as a single-family unit have more space than those who live together, which gives them more liberty and privacy. This problem is especially prevalent when families start moving into the same house. Young adults and grandparents who have grown accustomed to living alone are especially affected by multigenerational life. Many families who live together in such settings have made it easy to transition by assigning each person their private space where they can go and unwind when they need to be away from other people. Also, imposing simple rules such as knocking doors before entering can help with multigenerational settings. However, some families do not have space for each person to retreat, which poses a challenge for them.
Tension within the family
Even a typical household develops tension every once in a while. Multigenerational families can be a breeding ground for hatred, and relationships that were once close can fester quickly. As a family, take time to identify any potential cause of problems before deciding to come together and form a new household. It would help if you understood that disagreements still come up in homes like these, and they can be challenging to solve because multiple parties are involved. Sources of tension include finances, household responsibilities, and differences in parenting styles. It would also be helpful to address problems that arise as soon as possible before they become sources of family strife.
More household duties
A multigenerational family means more rooms to clean, dishes to wash, and larger laundry loads than the standard family. There are more children in such kinds of households and more members as well, which means that you generally have to do more about cleaning and maintenance. Such situations tend to make some members of the family, especially those who love to maintain tidy environments. Different housekeeping standards create tension within the family as a result. If you live in a multigenerational setting, rotating household jobs would be helpful.
Upgrades and remodeling
As more members get into the household, you will need to remodel and renovate the space to suit their needs. Sometimes, space may need to be added, or adjustments may be made. Some of the changes that will be made include upgrading for a new baby or retrofitting for senior members of the family. When these changes need to be done, it could be useful to share costs equitably and schedule for these changes to be made conveniently.
Issues with social distancing
Today, the novel Coronavirus is threatening the lives of people. Many governments have resorted to asking their citizens to maintain social distance. However, being in a multigenerational home setting can make it challenging to maintain a safe distance. If one person in the household catches the virus, there is a probability that the rest of the family can suffer. Elderly Persons, especially, can be vulnerable to the infection, which means that these circumstances can work against them.
What are the available alternatives?
After analyzing the multigenerational housing phenomenon, it is clear to see that there are both pros and cons to this arrangement. However, it does not mean that nothing can be done. Living in a multigenerational setting can be difficult, but with the right amount of love and care, you can make it through. If, however, you see that this arrangement does not fit your family, you can make adjustments to ensure that everyone is happy. Senior members of the family, especially, need a living arrangement that caters to their needs. With the right approach, you can talk to them about residences and home care options. While this may be an awkward conversation, it might be the best step to take because these homes are specially designed to cater to the issues people face in old age. These homes have the right professionals to cater to their needs and are built to help them cope with mobility issues that they may develop.
Living in a multigenerational setting has both advantages and disadvantages/challenges. It is difficult to maintain social distance; the household duties are more; there are higher chances for family tension and less privacy. However, some solutions can make such living arrangements easier. For instance, talking with the elderly about living in a residence that caters to their needs may go a long way in making both you and your family comfortable. Despite all these, multigenerational living is here to stay.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.