Your mother-in-law is moving in! But where are you going to put her? As the Baby Boomers get older, finding ways to add them to an already overcrowded household is becoming a real dilemma for many families. The good news is that there are ways to turn those unused spaces into beautiful (and comfortable) places for your aging parents to feel welcome, while still maintaining their privacy.
Creating the Perfect In-Law Suite
Finding a place that your elderly relative can call home isn’t always easy. Sometimes it requires a major remodel, other times it requires a more creative approach to offering a private space that meets everyone’s needs.
When determining how to best turn your house into a multigenerational home, consider these important factors:
- Privacy: Everyone needs privacy, including your elderly parent. When designing an in-law suite, consider how much privacy everyone in the family needs.
- Personal and Family Needs: Will your parent be babysitting younger children regularly, or keeping an eye on growing teenagers? If that is the case, you will probably need to offer quick access to the main house. Or maybe your aging parent is moving in because they have medical needs. Be sure to consider what special amenities they may need to live comfortably and safely in your home.
- Wants: No matter how you look at it, your aging parent is giving up a lot to move in with you. When designing their new living space, take into consideration the things they want too.
- Style: Is your parent moving from the city to the suburbs; or from the country to an urban area? Think about their style when designing their special space. Incorporate as much of their style as possible into their private quarters.
- The Future: Your parent may be healthy now, but what special needs will be a priority in three, five or ten years? When remodeling your home, be sure to consider opening doorways in case a wheelchair is needed later, adding a lipless shower to make entry and exiting easier (and safer) and install grab bars in case they are needed later.
Once you have answered these questions, you can decide how best to integrate your family member into your household. This will include carving out the kind of space to best matches the expectations of the entire family.
Updating Your Space
If it is time to update your home with a modern in-law suite, be sure to consider these five simple ways to add one:
- The Garage: While garage renovations can be expensive, they do provide a good way to offer a private space to your loved one, while still offering close contact.
- Over-the-Garage Apartment: For parents who are still in good health, an over-the-garage apartment can give them everything they need close to you. The biggest problem with this living arrangement is often the stairs leading to the living space, which can be difficult for some older folks to manage.
- The Basement: If you already have a finished basement, it can be relatively easy (and inexpensive) to turn the space into a beautiful apartment. With electrical and plumbing access readily available, and often a private entrance, basements can be an excellent place to add living space.
- The Spare Room: If you live in a tighter space, you may want to consider turning your home office or guest room into a place for Mom or Dad. While it does not offer the same amount of privacy as a built-in apartment, this can be a good option for many.
- A New Addition: If your house is already crowded, building an addition may be the answer. While not as cheap as renovating another area of the home, it is still a much less expensive alternative than placing your family member in a senior living facility. Besides, if you build an in-law suite from scratch, you can make it into the exact hideaway your loved ones deserve.
Bringing an aging parent or relative into your home can be an adjustment for everyone. But, designing the perfect in-law suite can help make the transition easier for everyone. To find out more about adding an in-law suite to your home call the experts at Quality Craftsmen today to schedule your project!