Bringing your mother or father - or both - to live with your family may not seem to be an option. Or it may even seem a bad option. In this country, most families are very busy and very nuclear - parents + kids - with the older generation living on their own, possibly miles away.
But in other parts of the world, the opposite is true, families live together and older people are not subject to the same social isolation that has become so common here. Shamefully, we even have marketing campaigns to remind us to visit our parents, along the lines of 'Granny is not just for Christmas'.
Multi-generational living is little explored but can really work - to everyone's benefit. Researchers believe that it contributes to a lower rate of dementia. Since social isolation is a key factor in the development of the condition, this can hardly be a surprise.
And it can help the 'sandwich generation', who are not forever running over to 'Mum's house' to sort out a problem. Mum is on the spot and is much less likely to feel like a 'millstone', if she is not forever hoping for a phone call and able to offer help at home.
It is still a big step, however, and may seem financially and emotionally difficult, although not as difficult as a care home. But the benefits - for everyone - can be significant. It's worth thinking about...