- A larger single level home. The middle part of the sandwich thought they would be exchanging stairs for an elevator when they moved to that Miami or La Jolla condo. Now they just want a master suite that insulates them from the grown kid’s music and entertainment choices–and offers the older parent privacy of his or her own. Besides, Grandma may not do stairs–and nobody wants to listen to bass Dub-Step beats from the grown son or daughter’s elaborate speaker system at midnight.
- A guest house. Or granny flat. Or garage apartment. SOMETHING that prevents the older and younger parts of the sandwich from inflaming each other.
- Privacy for all. This may be the toughest wish and one that needs fulfilling at least once in awhile. A family compound with separate homes for each would be ideal, but more modest circumstances require accommodation. Stay out of each others’ bedrooms unless invited and try to establish separate areas for independent activities.
Depending upon circumstances, these blended families may also want to discuss financial, maintenance and upkeep responsibilities–and who takes care of what. And these are likely new issues for current generations of Americans. In prior generations and in other cultures, it is recognized that infants, children, the disabled and the elderly may need the care of those in between. It is simple knowledge that given a full life, we will all pass through most of these stages and it is incumbent upon the able-bodied to take care of more helpless family members.
As they say, what goes around, comes around–and is all part of the circle of life.