My Parents Bought a House in My Neighborhood
Welcome to the West Side, Oma and Opa! My family is among many who have chosen to live closer together as the Boomer generation retires. Whether or not we have children, we want to make sure our parents are within reach so that we can help them stay healthy and free to live in their own homes--and, of course, so they can help us hapless Millennials and Gen Xers with their home renovation skills.
We need each other more than ever now that health care is a nightmare, social supports have been weakened, economic inequality is rising along with sea levels and pollution, and loneliness has become a deadlier epidemic than smoking. I believe that we are also rediscovering, after a few decades of cultural emphasis on independence, the value of family bonds across generations.
Modern science reminds us that humans evolved to live well past our fertile years to give our families the power of grandparents and that close relationships between grandparents and grandchildren are healthy for children and elders. (Not to mention parents who could use a date night!)
Also, although our houses are only a mile or two apart, we're on separate parts of the power grid, so we can use each other's woodstove-equipped homes as bug out bunkers this winter. Here's to survival!