According to a Pew Research Center report, a record 64 million Americans live in multigenerational households, defined as households that consist of more than two adult generations living under the same roof or grandparents living with grandchildren under the age of 25.
Factors leading to multigenerational living include the high cost of housing, as Americans we are living longer, and wage stagnation. Another factor is a return to interdependence within the extended family – the way people have always lived around the world.
The economic benefits of owning a multigenerational property are substantial, says Estelia Mesimer. By bringing family members and resources together under one roof, families can jointly address expenses and allocate finances accordingly.
Cost savings also occur when grandparents and older family members provide child care and younger adults can care for elderly relatives.
Other Benefits of Multigenerational Living
While cost savings on living expenses may be the primary benefit of bringing generations together under one roof, older and younger generations can derive broader societal benefits. Research from the University of Oxford suggests “a high level of grandparent involvement increases the well-being of children. When grandparents are involved in their lives, children have less behavioral and emotional problems. The benefit was especially noticeable in the lives of teens with divorced parents.”
Another benefit, while most families come together on special occasions, multigenerational families have the luxury of seeing each other every day. By living under one roof, these families develop a high level of attachment and closeness which improves the quality of life for all.
Shared Chores and Responsibilities
Allocating chores and age-appropriate responsibilities among family members is a tremendous way of ensuring that everyone does his/her part. For younger, more able-bodied members, physical work such as mowing the lawn or moving furniture is a nice trade-off so that the older generation can focus on less physically demanding tasks.
With multiple generations under one roof, a home is rarely ever left unoccupied for long, and living with other family members increases the chances that someone will be around to aid older family member. Falls, cooking accidents, decreased driving abilities and memory problems are all risks that can be reduced by living in multigenerational homes.
Bottom Line: Living in a multigenerational home can cause some growing pains as each member of the family gets used to the new arrangement, but at the same time, it can be an enriching experience for all family members. Open communication is key to making multigenerational living a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Hive: The Simple Guide to Multigenerational Living: How our Family makes it Work, by Lisa M. Cini
All in the Family: A Practical Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living, by Sharon Graham Niederhaus, John L. Graham
The New Business of Growing Old, The future of housing looks nothing like today’s (https://www.fastcompany.com/90342219/the-future-of-housing-looks-nothing-like-todays)