Thinking Outside the Box Is An Every Day Norm For Multigenerational Families

SandwichINK Real Estate Information | Real Estate Info and News for Boomers, Seniors, and Other Multigenerational Caregivers

This is a cute home for aging in place optionsMultigenerational families can come in a variety of sizes and combinations. My senior mom and I are a small "multigenerational family" always looking for ways to ensure we have plenty of aging in place options for my mom. At one point, right after my grand-twins were born with health issues, their family moved in with us. Then we were a BIG Roseville California "multigenerational family" of four generations. A "multigenerational family" could mean a grandchild and a grandparent…or a nephew and aunt…or a niece and great-aunt…or two friends of different generations who are helping care for one or for each other….and the list goes on. 

When I lived in one home for 17 years, my kids had FOUR sets of "adopted grandparents" in the wonderful neighbors who lived there. And those sweet senior neighbors gained extra eyes and hands when they needed help along with tons of hugs from my kids and us. It was a great extended "family." Yesterday, we listened to a class on "thinking outside the box" at my Keller Williams real estate brokerage and boy, multigenerational caregiving and helping is such a great example of that, isn't it?

Of course, with those different extended family and caregiver scenarios come a variety of different needs in a home and yard. You might think  "get a single-story home. That will solve the whole problem." But I looked at two single story homes today. One would not be very practical for a multigenerational family with an elderly relative. It was gorgeous. But it had a sunken living room. I know ME! I'm sure I'd manage to forget and trip on that at least once….maybe even once a month! :) I'd get busy, focus on my paperwork or sending a text, and whap. Most likely I'd just end up with a bit of an embarrassed smile. But if my senior mom lived there and forgot, which she easily could, she could end up in the hospital like a good friend of ours is right now. As much as I love the concept of sunken living rooms – they're really cute – I would probably not recommend them to boomers and seniors who want good aging in place options,especially with elderly relatives visiting or living with them.

The second house I looked at offered great possiblities for an extended family situation. It has been beautifully updated with a gorgeous, restful decor. One of the bathrooms has my favorite kind of shower for anyone and especially for elderly seniors – easy access and benches to sit on. 

Kaye Swain REALTOR recommends showers with benches to help elderly senior parents.jpg

There are three bedrooms and a den that could easily be another good-sized bedroom with the addition of an armoir. More "thinking outside the box" that is quite handy for flexible living arrangements.

An armoire can be a big help for those caring for elderly parents and needing to turn a room into a bedroom

And there's a laundry room that should be able to handle whatever size washer and dryer you might have. Always a good thing for an extended family with lots of laundry. In our last home, we had to keep the laundry area's folding doors open all the time because the extra large washer was a bit too big for the space. On those occasions when all the grandkids were visiting or my senior mom was recuperating from a surgery, that big washing machine was worth its weight in gold. It definitely was great to have – even with the open door in the midst of the living room/dining room area. Still a laundry room with this kind of space would definitely be handy for oversized and much needed laundry appliances.

A nice size laundry room that can hold a large washer dryer is a big help for a multigenerational family

And, of course, I always give the back yard a good check out – if you have kids or grandkids, you really appreciate a nice play area like this one – with plenty of room for a nice big swing set. 

A great play-set for the grandkids or a multigenerational family

These are some of the vital things I look for in a home for my own multigenerational family to provide us with plenty of aging in place options for my senior mom, as well as recommend to my real estate clients. How about you? Can you add anything to my list? We'd love to hear.


P.S.  Click here for help with your real estate search for homes by Kaye Swain REALTOR

Good Friends, Great Ideas, Lovely Surprises for the Caregiving Holiday Progressive Blog Party 2014

SandwichINK Real Estate Information | Real Estate Info and News for Boomers, Seniors, and Other Multigenerational Caregivers to the annual Caregiving Holiday Progressive Blog Party 2014. I've enjoyed participating in this for the past few years with my blog, SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation. The Sandwich Generation refers to those who are caring for elderly parents while raising children or helping with grandkids. It's also commonly called multigenerational caregiving.

This year, I joined in with SandwichINK's "sister" blog, SandwichINK Real Estate Info. For those visiting from the blog party, I'd like to introduce myself to you. I'm a caregiver, a grandmother, and a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Roseville California specializing in helping fellow boomers and seniors with their real estate, aging in place, and multigenerational needs. As a result, real estate is definitely top of mind for me this year, and multigenerational real estate is also on the tip of my and many other agents' tongues as it is once again growing in popularity, with many elderly parents moving in with their kids, or vice versa.

My senior mom lives with me, plus I also help another beloved senior living long distance. I used to have one set of grandkids nearby and another long distance. This past year, God has moved us all around and now both sets are long distance. That definitely leads to new challenges, but also new solutions to share with my readers and clients.


In addition to these blogs, you can also find great resources at my Facebook pages including SandwichINK for the Sandwich GenerationPinterest, and Twitter. Being a tech-savvy writer and REALTOR, I love to make good use of social media tools to help you with a wide variety of needs from caregiving ideas to aging in place suggestions to how to help our elderly parents with their real estate needs.

And, what would a party be without party favors? 

First, here's a cool party favor I RECEIVED from the very sweet Denise Brown last week. Doesn't it make a lovely decoration for the eparty.


And for you – I have a couple of coloring pages to share with your kids or grandkids that can also be enjoyed by many of our beloved elderly.



Christian Christmas encouragement  from Kaye Swain Roseville CA caregiver grandmother and REALTOR for multigenerational caregivers with this cute coloring page for grandkids and elderly seniors

I also have a contest for an Amazon gift card for $10 to use on encouraging music, books, etc. Just leave a comment below and answer the question "What is my favorite AGING IN PLACE suggestion" and I will pick the winner in a random drawing at the end of the blog party – the cut-off time will be Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 9 p.m. And if you are not sure what aging in place options are available, they include grab bars in the bathrooms (maybe other rooms too), wide doorways and sidewalks to accomodate walkers and wheelchairs, zero or one-step entry into the house to avoid stairs that elderly may fall on, wheelchair ramps into the house, etc. :) 

Thank you again for visiting SandwichINK Real Estate Info and do have a lovely and blessed Christmas. Be sure to enjoy more of the Holiday Progressive Blog Party and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Kaye Swain Roseville CA REALTOR caregiver and grandmother invites you to join in on the Caregiving Holiday Blog Party


Holiday Fun For Caregivers at the Caregiving Holiday Progressive Blog Party 2014

SandwichINK Real Estate Information | Real Estate Info and News for Boomers, Seniors, and Other Multigenerational Caregivers

Merry Christmas Gingerbread cookies from Kaye Swain REALTOR in Roseville CA

It's the holiday season and my grandchilden are having such fun with Advent calendars, Christmas tree decorating, practicing Christmas Carols and hymns for their church program, and playing in snow.

My senior mom and I are missing seeing them have all this fun, but grateful they are all doing well. And I have to admit, we are also appreciating that we do NOT have snow here in Roseville CA. Especially with her health still so up and down. Not to mention being really nice for REALTORS and our house-hunting and house-selling clients. :) We're also grateful for our new-to-us house with no-step entry and a great grab bar in each bathroom (two in hers). 

She's still getting to enjoy daily conversations with the pretty blue birds in our area. And I'm so thrilled! The rose bush I planted in August has just blessed us with a second set of roses. I've been watching the three new buds forever, but this week's rain storm helped them "pop open" all the way and oh my, they smell as good as they look!

Roses in the late fall and winter are sweet treats in Roseville and Sacramento CA-Kaye Swain REALTOR

Of course, the holiday season is also famous for holiday parties – whether friends, family, or both. For many of us caregivers, that can be a difficult, sometimes even murky, issue. As much as many love getting together, it can also be a time when family squabbles can flare – for a variety of reasons, including how the caregiving is going. 

At #Eldercarechat this week, we discussed just that. It was a fascinating chat and full of encouraging suggestions and valuable resources:




And speaking of holiday parties, an annual online party I've enjoyed for several years is happening this weekend, and you can join me for the fun – right in your own home, slippers and all. It's the Caregiving Progressive Holiday Blog Party, and there will be prizes, encouragement, and ideas galore – all centered around caregiving and caregivers. It's always fun and I'd love to see you there as well. 





Did you notice my blog is decorated for the holidays? My desk is too. Both are thanks to the sweet encouragement of the lovely Denise Brown, the hostess with the hostess for this fun party! My desk is merrily cheerful with the prize I won from Denise around Thanksgiving (she has the BEST contests!) and my blogs are shining bright for her fun party. :)


Caregiving Christmas gift for Kaye Swain REALTOR in Roseville CA 300


A sweet gift from Caregiving and Denise Brown to Kaye Swain REALTOR in Roseville California 300

So grab a cup of hot tea or cocoa, and a couple of Christmas cookies, join us on December 7 and throughout the week – here and at – CLICK HERE for more details. AND have a blessed and beautiful holiday season, full of joy, love, and great aging in place options to help keep y'all healthy and happy. 

P.S. In case your holiday season is a more somber occasion this year, as mine was the year my sweet dad was on hospice, I hope you'll pop over to Aging in Place Grief Issues and Grief and Loss for Caregivers-In OR Out of the Sandwich Generation for words of encouragement in this challenging season. It's not easy, it it? But many of us caregivers, including many you'd meet at the upcoming Blog Party, have gone through it and have suggestions and ideas that might be a blessing to you as well.

P.P.S. Kaye Swain Roseville CA REALTOR caregiver and grandmother invites you to join in on the Caregiving  Holiday Blog Party