Lisa Cini, an award-winning, senior living designer and founder of Best Living Tech is interviewed by Jim Enright. Lisa shares how the entire family can benefit from adopting the multi-generational way of living. She points out that while this has been the norm worldwide, families in United States have oscillated between decentralized living and multi-generational living.
Lisa explains the social experiment she conducted in her own home while inviting her parents and grandmother to live with her—life experiences and lessons that have informed her new book, Hive. Tune-in and discover the various ways in which you can successfully take up multi-generational living and why it yields immense benefits to grandparents, parents and children alike.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
● 01:00 – How to care for parents in old age is a quandary faced by many boomers; you can either let them stay on their own, put them in a care facility or have them stay with you
● 01:42 – Would you benefit from having a multi-generational household if your parents are staying with you?
o 02:42 – Her organization, Best Living Tech, houses some of the best products tailored for aged people
● 02:57 – This is the first of three very informative episodes:
o 02:57 – In this 1st Episode we will be talking about AGING and MULTI-GENERATIONAL households
o 03:10 – The 2nd Episode will be about the TECHNOLOGY that makes our lives easier
o 03:06 – The 3rd Episode explains a holistic view and puts it all together
● 03:42 – Understanding how multi-generational living has evolved over the years
o 03:42 – A common practice worldwide
o 04:23 – Quite commonplace in the 1920’s during the time of the Great Depression
o 04:57 – With passage of time, private housing became the norm as younger people started moving to the suburbs; senior living as a concept became prominent in the 1980’s
o 06:24 – With the economy going SOUTH, this concept has become popular again; 23% of millennials and 25% of seniors are staying in multi-generational housing
● 08:33 – Lisa talks about her social experiment which has formed the basis of her latest book, Hive
o 09:04 – Studies show that 90% of seniors are not happy with their present arrangement
o 09:22 – In spite of paying an astronomical amount ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 per month, seniors are not happy with their accommodation
o 09:35 – The baby boomer generation does not want someone else to tailor their life; they desire independence and flexibility
o 10:05 – Being the oldest daughter, Lisa took the responsibility of her parents and grandmother; she started experimenting on them different ideas about social living
o 11:37 – Even though she is an expert, Lisa found that taking care of older people is really difficult
o 12:39 – Her parents wanted to move into a ranch style house, so they wouldn’t have to move around so much; convinced them to opt for first floor living which resulted in more activity and heightened oxygen flow to the brain
o 14:24 – Parents have become healthier due to increased activity; attributes this positive change to more activity and higher energy
o 15:30 – When you have people interacting with you, you tend to be the best “you”
● 16:28 – Learn how children can benefit from staying with their grandparents
o 16:58 – Being surrounded by grandparents results in kids inculcating some great habits
o 17:27 – A recent study showed that a single parent staying with grandparents has a greater chance of raising kids the right way than with two parents and no grandparents
● 20:23 – Some of the BENEFITS of multi-generational living
o 20:40 – Her parents and grandparents like to contribute to the family by cooking food and folding clothes
o 20:50 – Lisa’s husband and her mother are connecting well
o 21:38 – Gets to see her sister and brothers much more often now
● 22:24 – Lisa shares some of the physical changes she made to her house
o 24:08 – Installed day toilet seats that wash, dry and blow
▪ 27:11 – Urges listeners to not underestimate the ability of seniors to pick up the latest technology; points out that her mother is quite active on Snapchat
● 27:51 – And some of the CHALLENGES that Lisa faced…
o 27:51 – Had to deal with storage and privacy issues; every generation has a different idea regarding privacy
o 29:20 – Her parents had to downsize from a 3,000 square foot home
● 30:56 – Lisa talks about her latest venture, Best Living Tech, where she wants seniors to have access to the best technology that is not easily available
● 32:19 – Some of her favorite music: AC DC’s Hell cats, Commodores, Brickhouse, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Louis Prima
● 34:56 – Born into a family where everybody is blessed with longevity, Lisa does not rule out living till 120!
o 35:25 – Financial stability and peak physical and mental capabilities can give you the freedom to do anything
o 37:32 – Technology has ensured longevity
o 38:30 – Does not want to retire, but wants to choose how to be useful
● 38:57 – Access books, newsletter and blog articles by checking out Lisa’s website
● 39:38 – Charles Kettering says, “My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there”
● 41:02 – Jim Enright’s sign-off message: Be stellar, and live life lively
● 41:10 – Spread the word with your baby boomer friends in person and on Facebook—Teach them how to listen to podcasts and how to subscribe
3 Key Points:
1. An overwhelming majority of seniors prefer a home environment rather than a five star, custom one; they are not willing to let go their flexibility and independence.
2. First floor living is always more beneficial for seniors since this increases their level of physical activity.
3. Immense thought needs to be put into designing senior living spaces; toilet seats, contrasting hand rails and walls and door positioning are some of the key changes that will improve their living.