With the rising cost of senior independent living, assisted living, and nursing homes alike, many families are opting to welcome their senior parents into their home. The benefits create an opportune blend of positive win-win situations for each generation choosing to live in a multi-generational home.
Benefits of mother-in-law additions or remodels
Living with family in one’s senior years creates the opportunity for every day to have purpose. Busy adult children welcome the merging of their children and their beloved parents, which enriches each family member on a daily basis.
Financially, when seniors consider living with their adult children, it makes a lot of sense when comparing the daily living expenses with today’s current alternatives.
There’s a mutual giving and receiving when a senior moves in with adult children. Seniors can often help with the responsibilities of grandchildren, while adult children provide a meaningful, secure location in which their parent can age with dignity and purpose.
You simply can’t beat a lifestyle that creates memorable moments to treasure. While senior independent living communities and assisted living communities provide hip activities for seniors to engage in daily, nothing beats the relationships and bonding that take place when seniors live with their adult children and grandchildren.
What to include in your mother-in-law suite
Seniors appreciate the opportunity to function as independently as possible. In order to create a welcoming in-law suite that they can age with grace in, there are some important aspects to consider before building or remodeling:
Include a comfortable sleeping space.
A private space with side rails, a shower without a lip, and doors wide enough for a walker or wheelchair to enter provides a practical bathroom for seniors as they age.
3. Living or sitting area
Seniors are sure to enjoy the extra time they have to spend with family and friends, so it’s important that they have a sitting area or living space to enjoy some relaxation and quality time with those they love.
A basic kitchen will provide seniors with all they need to prepare meals, yet not limit them—after all, their family will likely include them for meals.
5. Private entrance
In order to assure the most privacy for your senior loved one, create a private entrance for their senior suite. Although they will likely join you in your home for dinners and gatherings, they will still appreciate their own privacy, and having their own entrance to their senior suite provides that marvelously.
6. Universal design
Throughout the in-law suite, universal design will help your loved one feel secure and comfortable as they age. Here are some items to include:
Single story—In-law spaces should be a single story so that if seniors get uncomfortable with steps, they can still maintain their independence in their one-story apartment space.
In order to accommodate the possible need for a walker or wheelchair, install wide doors throughout the space.
Kitchens and bathrooms should include cabinets that can easily accommodate walkers and wheelchairs in case they are needed as seniors age.
Lipless shower stall
Avoid creating obstacles that could cause a fall. Seniors sometimes get off balance in their footing, and a lipless shower will prevent unwanted falls in the bathroom.
Walls should be reinforced with plywood so you can easily install grab bars at critical places like at the commode, inside the shower space, and near the shower where they get dressed.
Level door handles
Seniors appreciate the ease with which level door handles open, creating greater opportunity for independence as they age.
Places to build a mother-in-law suite
There are a variety of options to consider when it comes to the location of your in-law suite.
A home addition is always a possibility, creating the optimal suite specifications for your loved one. Some homeowners find that adding a suite adjacent to their home or garage provides a comfortable single story their loved one can enjoy as they age.
Remodeling existing rooms in your current home is an appealing option, with a more budget-friendly price tag since the rooms already have framing, roofing, outlets, and possibly even plumbing. Take a look at the current purpose of the rooms within your existing home, and consider repurposing the rooms you use the least to create an in-house in-law suite. Generally, it’s great to find a space near a bathroom in your home and convert the nearby rooms.
Basements can offer great square footage to convert into an in-law suite. Provided your loved one can execute the steps, or you have a ground level exterior entrance, your basement offers a simple conversion opportunity for an in-law suite. One option for its layout could be to divide the area into a bedroom, sitting area, and basic kitchen area.
A dehumidifier is wise to use in the basement to prevent mold by pulling the moisture out of the air. Windows may need to be added for some refreshing natural light. The beauty of an in-law suite in the basement lies in the balance of privacy and proximity it brings to the rest of the family upstairs. Your loved one can have a place they call home where they enjoy their own privacy, yet walk up the stairs to enjoy a great meal together. What more could you ask for?
Garages, whether they are attached or detached, provide a good foundation, roof, framing, and often a separate entrance. What’s needed in order to make a garage fit for living is the adding of heating and air conditioning, insulation, plumbing, wiring that meets residential building code requirements for kitchen equipment, and enough outlets to meet code requirements. The garage door needs to either be well insulated or replaced with more functional residential doors in order to keep the cold air in during summer months and warm air in during winter months.
Parker Built Homes is a custom home builder specializing in new home construction in Tulsa, Northeast Oklahoma, and Northwest Arkansas. To get the answers you need to move forward with building or remodeling, schedule a consultation today.