I’m seeing a trend in South Florida towards the return of multiple family generations living together again. This type of living situation was historically common up until about the 1950’s. However, the population trend in Florida was traditionally boosted by retirees relocating here, without their adult children. So it is unusual to see generations of families living together again, especially in Florida.

   In many cases, the adult child has migrated to Florida, specifically to join and care for his or her aged parents. The majority of elderly moms and dads refuse to leave Florida, even though their ability to adequately and safely care for themselves continues to diminish. Typical safety issues include driving, living alone, and being at risk for falls. Health risks include taking medications accurately, following up with physician’s orders, and getting good nutrition.

   Taking care of a family member can be a full time job! Juggling caregiving responsibilities with a career often requires hiring an additional caregiver. One daughter explains, “I moved to Florida several years ago to take care of my mom. We live together now. This way I am at home at night, in case anything might happen. I also work full-time; therefore, I have a home health aide to take care of my mom while I am at work. I usually take care of my mom all weekend long, but sometimes I need a break! That’s when I hire additional help.”

   Professionally trained caregivers definitely provide respite for family caregivers. They also can assist with hygiene and medical care, which some family caregivers do not feel comfortable with.

By: Kim Champion