Nearly 60 million people in the U.S. live in multigenerational households — a number that’s quadrupled in the last 50 years. Whether it’s parents living with their young adult children or adults living with their aging parents, most find the experience rewarding.
So what makes multigenerational living work? We gathered six ways for your family to make the most of residing under one roof. But, first, let’s explore why multiple generations of a family may choose to live together.
Why Do People Choose Multigenerational Living?
The main benefits of multigenerational living include shared financial responsibilities, easier access to care for family members, and emotional support from loved ones.
Sharing a household often means you’re able to share financial responsibilities. For example, the homeowners of the group can handle the mortgage payments, while family members moving in can help pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities. With the monthly median cost of a private room in a nursing home topping over $8,000, aging parents can save significant money and stretch their retirement budgets by living with their adult children.
Having grandparents in the home can also help save on daycare costs for younger parents, who, in turn, can assist their parents as they age. About a third of U.S. adults who live with family members say they made the move to make caregiving easier, with 25% citing adult caregiving and 12% citing child care.
And finally, multigenerational living allows families to truly be there for each other. Grandchildren get to know their grandparents, and studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients with memory loss who lived with their grandchildren could naturally connect with the children through memory puzzles and sing-alongs. The proximity makes it much easier to be there for loved ones.
How to Succeed at Multigenerational Living
Success in a multigenerational household doesn’t happen overnight. It’s all about setting boundaries, managing expectations, and ensuring the space supports everyone living in the home.
With open communication combined with some intentional design modifications to your living space, families who choose to live under one roof can genuinely take advantage of all the perks of multigenerational living and feel better equipped to navigate its challenges with ease. Here are six steps to successfully navigate living in a multigenerational household.
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Combining households has to start with an open line of communication. Families who talk to one another and set boundaries have a higher success rate than those who don’t. Try creating quiet hours to respect each other’s rest schedules. And come up with a plan to navigate unsolicited advice and passive-aggressive behaviors.
A solid set of house rules can go a long way to ensuring everyone’s expectations are met. Additionally, family meetings can be used to discuss problems and find solutions in a healthy way. Family members must keep an open dialogue about their needs to ward off any hard feelings and disappointment.
2. Delegate Responsibilities
Chore charts aren’t just for little kids. Creating a set list of household responsibilities can help family members share the load and organize tasks more efficiently. Break up tasks by preferences and accessibility levels, so everyone in the home can feel good about contributing.
Additionally, setting a dinner time and keeping in touch about everyone’s schedules and tastes help create a balanced household where everyone’s time is valued.
3. Create Space for Everyone
Trying to gain a sense of privacy can be tricky if you don’t plan ahead. In-law suites and guest houses are a great way to carve out space for adults living in the same household. However, these options may require larger renovations if they’re not already existing.
Luckily, there are low-budget ways to carve out extra space in the home. Try soundproofing rooms to create areas in the house where you can have a little privacy. Create multiple living areas so there are options in case the main living spaces are occupied. An extra living space can be as simple as a small seating arrangement in the guest room.
4. Make the Home Accessible
Making adjustments for accessibility takes a little time on the front end, which will pay off in spades down the road. You’ll want to take a moment to not only consider ways to make your home accessible now, but you’ll also want to think about adjustments you can make that will benefit everyone in the long term.
Home Elevators can provide a long-term accessibility solution to every floor of the home. Fully customizable elevators combine convenience, style, and accessibility, creating an elegant solution for moving safely between floors. Plus, this upgrade adds value to your home!
Vertical Platform Lifts
If you’re looking for a mobility solution for your garage or outdoor deck, consider a vertical platform lift. These devices can help people in a wheelchair or walker navigate between levels and take up less space than a ramp. They can be used inside or outside, and there are plenty of options to fit different needs and budgets.
A stair lift is a cost-effective option that doesn’t require construction. It can be customized to fit almost any staircase, opening up a world of independence for family members who have difficulty navigating stairs safely.
5. Co-Design the Space
Sharing a space requires concessions and collaboration from everyone involved. You’re blending different design styles, so work together to determine what works best — especially in common areas.
With limited space, you may have to make some big decisions about what items to keep and what to give away. Approach the project together, and develop solutions that feel good to everyone.
Create personalized rooms where everyone can express their own style. And consider a transitional decor theme that’s a balanced blend of traditional and modern to suit a broad range of tastes.
6. Find Shared Hobbies and Activities
One of the keys to success is finding things to share together — other than a roof and walls. Some families find tending a garden to be both rewarding and practical. And cooking together allows older generations to pass down family recipes to the younger ones. Institute a family game night, or find other ways to spend quality time together, and take advantage of this opportunity to create memories under the same roof.
Bring Everyone Together Under One Multigenerational Roof
Joining the growing ranks of people choosing to combine households across multiple generations can be an enriching and fulfilling experience. It just takes open communication, a bit of planning, and a positive approach to family time.
Learn how affordable accessibility solutions for your multigenerational household can be. Trust the experts at Arrow Lift to advise you on solutions like stair lifts and home elevators. Arrow Lift is a family-owned business and BBB accredited with an A+ rating for our quality products and service. Request a free consultation to help bring your entire family’s dream home to life.