Three Generations Share a Home
The revival of multi-generation living has been on the rise since 2009 and continues to be a lifestyle trend for 2012. “What we’re seeing is the demise of the notion of the nuclear family in favor of the extended family,” said John L. Graham, co-author of Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living.
Motivations range from necessity to convenience to culture. While some situations may be temporary, others aren’t so short-lived. Many factors influence a family’s decision to live together:
- Aging baby boomers are moving in with children
- Young adults are living with parents for longer lengths of time or are being forced to relocate home due to the stagnant economy
- The expected growth in home ownership among Hispanics and Asians, for whom multi-generational living is more common
With life expectancies increasing, baby boomers retiring, pension funds failing and minority household growth, multi-generational living will likely be a trend that is with us for a while, if not a new way of American life.
Multi-generational living may sound unnerving yet living together can offer many benefits:
- Help with household expenses
- Child care or elder care
- Allow the older generation to remain independent longer, none of them wanting to admit they’ll ever need formal assisted living
- Emotional intimacy that comes with frequent contact among family members and the opportunity to make a strong connection with your grandchildren and pass on your knowledge and experience
- Reconnect with your adult children at a different stage in both your lives
- Luxury to travel with piece of mind that your house and pets are taken care of; perfect for the snowbirds
In order to make this new way of life enjoyable and comfortable some changes will need to be made. It is essential to map out your ideal space and to run the numbers on re-do versus buying new, Crimson Design and Construction can help you with this.
If you set up the right space living together under one roof won’t break the bank or drive you crazy. Integrating design that encourages social interaction yet also provides privacy away from the communal living space is the most effective strategy. Separate entrances and kitchens are critical to success. Members of the household share many activities and frequently eat together, and the grandparents often take an active role in the care of their grandchildren. But, at the end of the day, each generation bids adieu and retires to separate quarters.
How do you feel about multi-generation living? And do you think it is something that may be in your future?