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What is Multi-Generational Living?

By Tiffany Raiford

Whether you live in the Sunshine State or you simply visit, you know it's not uncommon for the elderly to make their home right here in Florida. While some live on their own and others live in retirement communities, many live with family. While it's more common for parents to live with their children and grandchildren, multigenerational living is becoming a standard practice for all kinds of family members in all kinds of situations.

What is Multigenerational Living?

In simple terms, multigenerational living is when more than just an immediate family resides in one household. This could mean your sister and her husband and kids live with you or it could mean that your parents live with you and your children. While this is very common practice in many other nations, it hasn't been common in the states in a long time.

Why Do Families Choose This Living Arrangement?

There is no one answer as to why families choose to live in multigenerational households. However, some of the most common reasons are finances and health. When one family can no longer afford to live on their own, they will move in with their parents or their children to save money. Additionally, many young families choose to have their parents come live with them so that they can save on childcare by not having to put their children in daycare since they can stay home with their grandparents. Finally, when one family member is ill, many extended families choose to move in together rather than send their loved ones to a nursing home.

Benefits and Downfalls

Like everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to multigenerational living. The advantages include financial savings, health and an additional closeness between families. The disadvantages often include the fact that children feel their parents interfere with their parenting of their own children and some children feel that having so many adults in one place leaves no room for privacy.

Whether or not you feel multigenerational living is for you, it's definitely for some. It's like the holidays all day every day, except that the Christmas spirit isn't present which means impatience and temper are more likely on a daily basis and Great Aunt Gertrude's habit of drinking one too many glasses of wine and becoming the most honest woman in the house is less hilarious when it happens every night. Family is so important, and living together is a personal choice. You might like being close to your family or you might know that to remain close to your family, you simply cannot live together.

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