Houses intergenerational: the alternative to care homes for seniors

Maisons intergénérationnelles: l'alternative aux foyers pour aînés

The crisis of the COVID-19 has particularly affected the CHSLD and more Quebecers are afraid to spend their old days. However, the intergenerational property can be used as an alternative to homes for seniors. Discussing this model of property with four individuals who have made the choice to live with their.

Gilles Boisvert lives in the house where he grew up, an old school rank of Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, on the South Shore of Quebec. This building of 1865 has been converted in to a house there is already a very long time.

“When the schoolhouse was closed, this is my great-great-grandfather who bought it before to bequeath to my grand-father, then my mother bought it of him. Me, I bought it for my mother in 2006.”

Currently, the mother and father of this young retired person, live in the main section, while her sister resides in the basement of this part. Gilles, for his part, occupies the summer kitchen with his spouse. An annex built in 2000.

Gilles Boisvert and his mother

“For the dimension [of the extension], one has really exploited the maximum they could take under municipal by-laws, in relation to the size of the land and buildings that were already there, the workshop and the garden shed. It is for that reason that we could not be larger than 20 feet by 20 feet.”

Regulations, planning for homes to intergenerational vary from one city to another, but several models are possible, depending on the needs of families. It is possible to make such home without expansions, simply by re-configuring the space.

Who takes a husband takes… home!

When Stéphanie Bourgault has met her lover there are four and a half years, the mother of Saint-Hubert was far from suspecting that she would live under the same roof as her parents-in-law.

“I did not choose that house, I got in this relationship and that was already existing. At the beginning, they were installed for only six months.”

“It was a way for everyone to help each other because it is so made expensive houses! My boyfriend, it gave him access to the property more quickly.”

Like Stephanie, the Terrebonnienne Annie Key) is also seen to impose a cohabitation with the parents of the man she loves. Her two brothers and her sister with an intellectual disability were also in the portrait.

Portrait of the family Jacob-Key in their home between generations.

“It’s been 19 years that we’ve been together my husband and me. […] He has always told me : “If something were to happen to my parents, to know that I’ll always take care of my brothers and my sister.”

Today, it is only one of the brothers is still of this world and he still lives with the couple and their children. The father of Annie came to join in a section specially designed for what was formerly a garage.

Three units therefore exist in this house that the 44 year old woman described as “evolutionary”.

Containment is less painful

Eric Larose is a father of triplets and he resides in his house intergenerational Barraute in Abitibi for the past six years. His three sons have left the family nest, a man of 51 years is now focusing on the well-being of the parents.

“If we want to share a meal, or if someone is sick, this life in common is very facilitative.”

“During the confinement period, it was less complicated because they were right next to. We could go get groceries for them, do their errands. It was found that it was much more simple.”

Live together otherwise

The house intergenerational typical require significant capital investments and permits are sometimes difficult to obtain from municipalities. Families have therefore found a way to share their everyday life differently.

Alex Savoie is 33 years old and he resides in the cinqplex of his parents located in the area of the Village, in downtown Montreal.

“My father and my mother are separated, but they decided to stay all of two co-owners of this building that they bought in the 1970s. Today, my father lives on the ground floor and my mother is on the first floor.”

Although he has lived away from the family nest for many years, the thirty-year-old admits that his choice to return to the fold the strength to deal with certain prejudices.

“It happened to me to make me treat of Tanguy or old boy. It seems that for some people, there is a certain connotation attached to this link with the family.”

“I see my parents aging and it is possible that I become their caregiver eventually. With the crisis of the COVID-19 and all this happened in NURSING homes, I said to myself that I was ready to take on this role-there”, he adds.


The family of Patricia Jodoin has recently welcomed his mom.

Patricia Jodoin of Boucherville welcomes his mother at her home for two years now. The irritants of life on the island of Montreal have motivated the move of the one who has put in the world.

“My mother had a condo in a triplex and the other owners are available to rent on Airbnb. There were parties and she no longer slept at night.”

Finally, the mother of Patricia has made the decision to sell up and join his daughter on the South Shore. The sub that it saves as well allow him to achieve his retirement plans, his dream to travel.


  • Sharing of tasks (gardening, snow removal, etc)
  • The grandparents, if they are in shape, can keep their grandchildren.
  • A good way to counter the isolation of elderly people.
  • Possibility to divide the mortgage and other costs to several.
  • Able to continue to see his extended family in a situation of containment.


  • This is not within the reach of all purses.
  • The loss of privacy and risks of conflict.
  • Having to endure the visit of the other in the court.
  • Municipal by-laws are sometimes difficult to grasp.
Share Button