This is a sponsored partnership between Centrum and LatinaMoms.com
It’s almost an assumed part of our Latino culture to care for our elders. In Latino families, grandparents are often cared for at home – we don’t necessarily rely on retirement homes of any kind.
Sooner than later, abuelita or abuelito begin to live with us or vice versa. The Pew Research Center reported that in 2016, 64 million Americans lived with multi-generations in their household. And we can only imagine how much it’s changed since the global pandemic.
Furthermore, out of these 64 million, 27 percent of those were Hispanic.
Compare that percentage to the white population – who made up only 16 percent of those who lived in multi-generational households – and you can see how important it is for us to understand the complete process of welcoming our elders into our family life.
It’s a process of adaptation that should not be taken lightly – even if it’s as common as ever.
From taking their history into perspective to balancing everyone’s responsibilities, here are key tips to keep the peace and integrate our grandparents into our family life under the same roof.
Understand that each person is their own
Understanding that each person has their own character and history is one of the keys to building a safe and comfortable space for everyone at home.
Just because the person is older does not make them less than the other household family members.
It’s crucial to understand that our grandparents are different and that they have a history just as we do. So, we recommend talking explicitly about their needs.
Ensure that the abuelos have their own space in the house
Often we think of saving a buck and limiting space, but in the long run, everyone needs to have their own space in the household. Think of how you would feel having a limited area only in the living room. Sounds harsh, no?
Everyone must have their own safe space; their own privacy. Not everyone is cut out to be in the shared living room 24/7, and we can all agree that privacy is one of the key things needed for any type of roommate situation to work.
Know how to balance responsibilities
It’s essential to know who is doing what in the household. Does your grandparent need rides to their doctor appointments? It’s important to settle these expectations from each family member available to help. On the other hand, if your elder can, it’s equally vital to know what is expected from them.
At the end of the day, it’s a blessing to have your elders live and experience life with you. We can learn as much from them as they learn from us – it’s the circle of life, after all!