Seniors are choosing to live in a multi-generational home. Also, the Number of Americans living in a multi-generational household (3 or more generations) has nearly quadrupled in the past decade.
The Generations United organization estimates 66.7 million adults ages 18+ live in a multi-generational family unit.
That is more than 1 in 4 Americans. More than half of these people started living together because of the Covid-19 Pandemic and state they will continue to do so in the long term.
Older family members are benefiting more than ever from multigenerational living arrangements, especially in recent years.
Independent and assisted living facilities are financially out of reach for most older adult generations.
Moreover, lock downs during the pandemic also shed light on how quality of life, freedom to socialize with other residents and family members can be greatly restricted.
Mental heath can be negatively affected when people are forced to live in isolation.
Navigating the issues of a multigenerational household can be difficult and complicated.
It is important to keep an open mind and try to find solutions that work for everyone in such living arrangements.
Here are some tips to help you navigate these issues:
1. Establish clear boundaries – One of the most important aspects of navigating a multi-generational household is establishing clear boundaries. This includes setting realistic expectations for behavior and communication, as well as defining each person’s responsibilities.
2. Respect privacy – Make sure to respect everyone’s privacy in the household, especially when it comes to things like personal space and possessions. Younger adults, younger children , and older generations should feel comfortable having their own private area within the home.
3. Create communication channels – To ensure everyone’s needs are being met, it’s important to create healthy communication channels and allow each age group to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or criticism.
4. Foster a sense of unity – Try to foster a sense of unity within the household by encouraging family activities and building a sense of togetherness. This will help create a positive atmosphere and ensure everyone feels connected to one another.
5. Encourage autonomy – It’s important to encourage each person’s autonomy while also setting appropriate boundaries so that everyone can feel comfortable in the household. Each person should have a say in the decisions made in the house and be able to express their opinion without feeling like it is being ignored.
6. Respect each other’s needs – Each family member has a unique set of needs and it is important to respect those differences. Make sure everyone feels like they are being heard and that their needs are being taken into consideration when making decisions.
7. Establish routines – Establishing a routine can help keep everyone on the same page and prevent misunderstandings. Everyone will know what to expect throughout the day so that there are fewer surprises, stress, or arguments.
8. Communicate openly – Communication is key in any family situation but especially when there are multiple generations living under one roof. Make sure that everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinion and be respected for it.
9. Utilize technology – Technology is a wonderful tool when managing a multigenerational home and multigenerational families. You can use video chat or emails to keep in touch with people who aren’t able to be present in the home. Platforms like Google Docs and Dropbox can help to share documents or information that is relevant to everyone in the house.
10. Have fun! – Don’t forget to take time out of your day to do something fun with the members of your multigenerational household. This will give you all an opportunity to bond and create positive memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s going for a walk in the park or playing board games, these shared experiences can be beneficial for everyone involved.
11. Solve conflicts quickly and effectively – Conflicts are inevitable when living together with different generations, but it is important to address any issues head on. Make sure to handle any conflicts quickly and in a respectful manner, so that it doesn’t impact other relationships or the overall wellbeing of the household.
Why Do People Live In Multi-Generational Homes?
The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in the number of multi-generational households.
In fact, a recent survey indicates that nearly one third of Americans are now living in such arrangements due to the economic and health challenges posed by the virus.
This trend is likely to continue, as families increasingly recognize the many benefits of living together under one roof.
Multi-generational living is an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for American families and in today’s world, with more and more people choosing to live with their extended family.
There are many benefits associated with multi-generational living, such as providing emotional support, sharing household responsibilities, and creating a rich environment for learning and growth.
By welcoming multiple generations under one roof, families are able to gain an understanding and a deeper appreciation of their family heritage.
Here are some of the key reasons why people choose to live in multi-generational homes:
1. Economical: Multi-generational living is often seen as an economical option for those looking to save money on housing costs. By having multiple family members share household expenses, it can make living more affordable. Additionally, having multiple adults in the home can also provide additional financial security and income-earning opportunities.
2. Quality of life: By bringing together different generations, multi-generational homes create a dynamic environment filled with love and support. This type of living arrangement is especially beneficial to the elderly, as they can learn from and be taken care of by their younger family members.
3. Cultural: Multi-generational living is a common practice in many cultures, especially those that place a strong emphasis on the extended family unit. This type of arrangement is seen as an important way to preserve a family’s culture and values.
4. Closeness: Whether it is due to cultural reasons or practical financial considerations, multi-generational living arrangements offer an opportunity for family members of all ages to stay close. Grandparents, parents, young adults, and children are able to interact on a daily basis, fostering strong bonds among generations. This can be especially beneficial for children who often benefit greatly from having their grandparents nearby.
5. Support: When living in a multi-generational home, family members can share responsibilities and offer invaluable emotional support to each other. An elderly parent or older parent may need assistance with tasks such as shopping and transportation, while younger generations or young adults may need assistance with child care. Additionally, having family members of different ages living together in the same home can provide a strong sense of security for all involved.
6. Cultural Exchange: Although living in the same space can create conflicts, it also encourages cultural exchange and dialogue between generations. This helps family members to better understand one another’s perspectives and beliefs which ultimately leads to more harmonious relationships. Moreover, children are able to gain greater insight into their heritage as they are able to learn from elders in their own home.
7. Companionship: Living in a multi-generational home allows individuals to form strong bonds with family members which can be especially beneficial for the elderly or those facing health challenges as they are surrounded by people who care about them. This is also true for young children, who benefit from having multiple adults around to help with their development and growth.
8. Security: Having multiple generations living under the same roof can offer a greater sense of security since individuals are not alone in an emergency or during regular day-to-day life. It is comforting to know that someone is always nearby when needed and that there will be assistance if needed.
What are 3 Most Common Benefits of Living In A Multi-generational Home?
1. Financial Benefits: The most obvious benefit of living in a multi-generational home is the savings on rent and/or mortgage payments, as well as associated bills such as utilities. By pooling resources and sharing expenses across two or more generations, everyone can reap the financial benefits of communal living and address financial issues and modify their retirement plans. Keep in mind that savings of older Americans were significantly impacted in the Great Recession (2007- 2009.
2. Sense of Community: Living in a multi-generational home can also create a strong sense of support and community. By spending more time together, family members are able to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. This can be especially beneficial for elderly parents or grandparents who may no longer have the independence they once had and for adult generations that need support with child rearing.
3. Variety of Skills and Knowledge: Multi-generational homes often bring together a diverse set of skills and knowledge. With young children, adults, and even grandparents living under the same roof, there are plenty of opportunities to learn from one another. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby or learning how to cook your favorite dish, you can easily find something to learn in a multi-generational home.
Living in a multi-generational home has its advantages and disadvantages, but the most common benefits include increased financial stability, improved relationships, and variety of skills and knowledge.
By taking advantage of these benefits, families can create an enjoyable living environment that caters to the needs of every member of the family.
What Are The Key Disadvantages Of Living In A Multi-Generational Household?
The key disadvantages of living in a multi-generational household include tension due to the different personalities and lifestyles, lack of personal space, and difficulties with establishing separate family routines.
Tension can quickly build due to the clash of different generations’ ideas, beliefs, and behavior patterns.
In addition to this, age gaps between family members can also lead to differences in communication styles, further exacerbating the tension.
Living in a multi-generational household often means that everyone has to share limited space and resources.
This can be difficult, especially for those who are accustomed to having their own personal space.
Finally, it is not always easy to establish separate family routines in a multi-generational household.
While some families can work together to come up with an agreeable routine that works for everyone, others may find it difficult to accommodate all the different generational needs while still providing quality time for each individual family member.
This can lead to further tension and stress within the household.
In summary, living in a multi-generational household can come with both advantages and disadvantages.
It is important to assess the situation before making a decision that could potentially have long-term effects on your family dynamic.
While there are many benefits to having multiple generations under one roof, it is also important to consider the potential drawbacks that may occur as well.
If there are any concerns, it may be prudent to consider a different living situation and the best way to avoid family conflict. Ultimately, the decision should be based on what is best for all involved.
Are Multi-Generational Households Increasing?
Recent research has indicated that multi-generational households are on the rise in the United States.
This trend is driven by a variety of factors, including changing economic conditions, an aging population, and the increasing cost of living.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 64 million Americans lived in a multigenerational household in 2016 — more than 20% of the total population.
Why Are There More Multi-generational Household?
There are several reasons why more Americans are opting to live in a multi-generational household.
One of the most common is economic factors, as many families cannot afford their own separate homes and must rely on family members for financial help.
Additionally, an aging population has led to more senior citizens living with their adult children and grandchildren, allowing them to be closer and more involved in the family.
Overall, in the United States today there are over 64 million people living in multi-generational households – the largest number since 1950.
This rise has been steadily increasing since 1980, when only 12.1% of Americans lived in these households.
Are Certain Ethnic Groups More Likely To Live In A Multi-Generational Household?
Research has shown that certain ethnic groups are more likely to form multi-generational households than others.
According to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, Asian Americans are the most likely group to live in multigenerational homes, with 30% of households being composed of multiple generations compared to 25% of Latino/Hispanic families and 19% of white families.
African Americans have the lowest rate, with only 16% of homes being multi-generational.
Asian American households are more likely to house multiple generations due to their traditional values around extended family and taking care of one’s parents in old age.
They are also more likely to immigrate as a family unit rather than an individual, which increases the likelihood of multi-generational households.
Latino/Hispanic families are more likely to have multigenerational homes due to immigration, poverty and life circumstances such as divorce or single parents.
No matter the ethnicity or cultural background of the family, living in a multi-generational home is still subject to many social, economic, and personal factors.
Issues such as financial stability, space availability and family dynamics can all play a role in whether or not a family chooses to live together.
Some families may choose to live together out of convenience or to help ease the burden of childcare while others may do it out of necessity due to economic constraints or other outside pressures.
Whatever the reason, families that share living quarters are becoming increasingly more common.
Are Multi-Generational Households More Common In Certain Parts Of The US?
Research has suggested that multi-generational households are more common in certain parts of the US than others.
According to data from the 2018 American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau found that states such as California, New York and Texas had higher percentages of people living in multigenerational households compared to other states.
Some of the reasons for this could include a diverse population, higher costs of living or different cultural norms.
For example, in California, the cost of living is relatively high compared to other states and many families are finding it difficult to make ends meet on their salaries alone.
As such, they may find themselves living with more than one generation in order to save money.
Furthermore, the state is known for its diverse population, with people from all walks of life and different cultural backgrounds.
This diversity could lead to more cases of multigenerational households due to families wanting to preserve their culture and heritage within the household.
In New York, the high cost of living similarly affects many families and therefore, multigenerational households are becoming increasingly more common.
New York is home to a number of immigrant communities and this could be one contributing factor to the rise in multi-generational households.
Additionally, with the population density being higher than other states, many families may find it difficult to find their own separate living spaces and thus, choose to stay together as a multi-generational household.
In the Midwest, there is also an increase in multigenerational households due to economic factors.
The cost of living is relatively lower than other parts of the country and more people are settling into rural areas and small towns.
Additionally, certain cultural norms and values may encourage this type of living situation in the Midwest.
The West Coast also sees a trend in multi-generational households due to similar economic factors.
The cost of living is very high in many cities on the West Coast, so many families choose to live together to lower the costs.
Additionally, there are many immigrant families on the West Coast who come from cultures where extended family living is more common, so they often naturally choose multi-generational households.
The Northeast also sees a trend of multi-generational households due to various economic and cultural factors.
One factor is that many people in this region live in high-cost cities, so living together can help families save money.
Additionally, the Northeast has a large population of immigrants from countries where extended family living is more common, which leads to an increase in multi-generational households in this region.
Overall, multi-generational households are increasingly becoming more common throughout the United States.
The South, West, and Northeast all have different factors that contribute to this trend, such as high housing costs, migration patterns, and cultural norms.
As the population continues to grow in these parts of the country, multi-generational households will likely continue to increase in prevalence.
However, it is important to note that not all multi-generational households are the same.
While many families choose to live together for financial reasons, others may do so out of choice or necessity.
Similarly, different states and regions have their own unique laws and regulations around multi-generational living arrangements.
As such, it is important to consider any potential legal issues that might arise from these arrangements.
How To Design A Multi-Generational Home
Designing a multi-generational home can be a complex task. It is important to consider the needs of every occupant, and to plan for potential growth or changes in the household.
Here are some key steps you can take when designing a multi-generational home:
1. Establish clear boundaries between spaces. When creating a multi-generational home, it is important to establish clear boundaries between separate living areas. This could mean creating distinct floor plans or separating different sections of the house with walls, doors, or other physical barriers. Doing this will help ensure that each occupant has his or her own space while still allowing for shared common spaces.
2. Incorporate flexible furnishings. Furniture and fixtures should be able to accommodate all ages and lifestyles, which means incorporating adjustable furniture that can be easily rearranged or moved if needed. Consider adding in items such as adjustable beds, comfortable couches with removable cushions, and height-adjustable desks that can accommodate a variety of users.
3. Utilize smart home technologies. Smart home technology can be incredibly useful in multi-generational homes, as it can help create a more efficient environment for all occupants. Consider investing in technologies such as voice-activated lights and automated thermostats that can be programmed to accommodate different lifestyles and needs – these items will make life easier for everyone living in the home.
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4. Focus on safety features. Safety should be a top priority when designing a multi-generational home, as it can involve elderly occupants who may need assistance with certain tasks or activities. Consider adding items such as textured bathroom floors, design forward grab bars to prevent slips and falls, motion sensor lights for nighttime navigation, wide doorway openings for wheelchair access, and handrails in both bathrooms and stairways.
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5. Create outdoor living space. A multi-generational home should have plenty of outdoor areas for occupants to enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise. Consider adding a deck or patio with comfortable seating and an outdoor kitchen for entertaining guests, as well as pathways for leisurely strolls. You may also want to incorporate a garden area or raised flower beds for relaxation and visual appeal. Furthermore, think about adding outdoor activities like horseshoes or bocce ball to keep everyone entertained.
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6. Allow flexibility with the floor plan. The floor plan should be open enough that occupants can move around easily, but offer private areas, such as bedrooms and bathrooms, for all generations. Consider having separate living areas that can be used as a suite or office space if needed. Multi-generational homes should also include plenty of storage solutions to help keep each family member’s belongings organized.
7. Incorporate technology for convenience. Make sure the home is equipped with the latest technologies, such as smart doorbells and thermostats, to provide convenience for all generations. Additionally, invest in quality video conferencing equipment so family members are able to stay connected with far-away relatives or friends.
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8. Consider safety features. Safety should be the top priority when designing a multi-generational home. Install grab bars in the bathrooms, and ramps or lifts as needed to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. Home security systems are also an important feature to consider, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house.
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Multigenerational House Plans
An example of a multi-generational house plan is a plan that includes separate living spaces for multiple generations, such as a main house with a separate apartment attached or a house with a second level that has its own kitchen, living area, and bedrooms.
These types of house plans are designed to allow multiple generations to live together under one roof while still maintaining a sense of independence and privacy.
Some common features of multi-generational house plans include separate entrances, shared common areas, and flexible spaces that can be used for a variety of purposes.
If seniors are living in the home, it is a good idea to have a master bedroom on the first level as well as a full bathroom, and at least one zero step entry to the home.
Hire A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist
A certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has been specifically trained to help seniors age in place safely and comfortably. They are also trained in how to create a multigenerational living arrangement that works for all age groups and generations.
CAPS-certified professionals have the skills and knowledge to assess the unique needs of seniors and make recommendations for products and services that can help them live independently.
They also have a network of resources and contacts that they can connect seniors with, if needed.