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MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOUSING

FAST GROWING TREND

Multi-generational housing is one of the quickest growing forms of households in the country. Thanks in large part to the advent of the Great Recession, many families consolidated and reduced their finances, including one of the largest chunks out of their monthly bill cycle, namely housing. Then to add to that larger trend is the aging of the baby boomers with the myriad of medical issues that come with that. There are positive benefits associated with grandparents and grandchildren living in the same household.

The wisdom, patience and love that come from a grandparent is irreplaceable to the children and always a joy to the grandparents. There is added money for repairs, upkeep and any number of projects that homeowners have the joy of attending to. While there may sometimes be more elbows than space or too many cooks in the kitchen, there is a reason why it is a growing trend. In the course of a generation, multi-generational not only halted the decline from the 1940s to the 1980s, but between 1980 and 200 increased it one quarter (12% to 15%) and then from 2009 to 2012 it increased an additional 20 percent (15% to 18%). With approximately 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, the likelihood of the multi-generational housing will decrease is unlikely. Multi-generational housing is generally defined as homes with more than one adult generation living under its roof.

While most multi-generational homes are ordinary homes, home builders and the housing industry in general has responded. Often these new homes have a separate entranceway, their own kitchen, full bathroom and temperature controls. They may be above a garage or a separate housing unit in and of itself. With approximately one-quarter of folks 85 year old and older living in nursing homes in 197, compared to half as many now, which means an increase in the number living at home, it allows for greater freedom for elderly Americans, since they can tailor everything in their surroundings to their liking, rather than according to the whims of a bureaucratic home structure. In addition, with grandchildren, children, nieces and nephews and other family members around, they have a greater participation in the family community.

There are certainly different stressors that are going to increase with any living situation that require those under a multi-generational house. The American Association of Retired People (AARP) offers several tips for those who live in a multi-generational house. Being able to be flexible and to go with the flow helps to alleviate many of these problems. It also helps when the entire family has greater interaction, through such ploys as family game night or movie night and shared meals. It always helps to have private space for all of the family members whereby they can retreat after a particularly stressful day. Deciding in advance what expenses will be shared and what will not is always good advice on any endeavor as is the idea of planning ahead for such things as house chores, parenting and disciplining authority.  

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