Multigenerational homes are becoming increasingly common as more older adults divorce, or live long after the loss of a spouse and young working adults rely on childcare help from their parents. With high housing costs, in 2021, 1 in 4 Americans aged 25 to 34 lived with their parents or older relatives, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Although most adult children are moving back in with their parents after living alone, a significant number of multigenerational homes include older adults who have moved in with their millennial children. Many seniors, or even younger oldish adults, aren’t waiting until they have urgent healthcare needs or are fully retired to make a move. Living in a multigenerational household offers many benefits, and with soaring inflation and a lack of affordable child care, nearly 1 in 5 Americans lived in a home with two or more adult generations under one roof as of 2021.
Pooling resources from parents or grandparents helps first-time buyers to purchase a family home in today’s market. Many employees are still working remotely, at least part-time, and need assistance with household chores, living expenses, and child care. When purchasing a multi-generational home, older parents will often establish separate living areas that allow for some privacy. For many grandparents, living with their adult children gives them an opportunity to build a close relationship with their grandkids and participate more fully in their daily activities, while helping to support their own grown children.
Pew Research Center data shows that in the majority of multigenerational households, the experience is at least somewhat positive, but it can be stressful when space and privacy are limited. Couples who grew up in multigenerational households may be more comfortable with the arrangement of living with older parents, or grandparents.
Playing to one another’s strengths with respect to cooking, cleaning, childcare, home upkeep and earning allows each individual to make their own valuable contribution to the household. And for older adults, feeling valued and having a purpose can help provide a better, more rewarding older age. Studies also suggest that children benefit from having strong relationships with co-parenting grandparents – boosting their children’s social development.