What Are The Secrets Of Successful Multigenerational Living?

Studies suggest that 1 in 4 Americans now live in a multigenerational arrangement. Proportionally, this is a relatively low number, especially compared to countries like India. Here, multigenerational living has been a norm for centuries and is still adopted by as many as 312 million people

But recent increases in American multigenerational setups, especially since the pandemic, do point to shifting attitudes towards the benefits of this lifestyle. Many families especially cite financial reasons as their incentive for making the shift. 

In a study by Generations United, other benefits cited include closer family bonds, shared care roles, and even improvements in mental or physical health. However, multigenerational living isn’t without its setbacks. 

The question is, can we make multigenerational living work as we move forward, and what are the best ways to do that? We consider the secrets here.

Tip 1: Make the space work for everyone

Multigenerational living doesn’t mean making do with a small property that’s ill-suited for this purpose. Instead, multigenerational success ultimately seems to rest on the joint purchase of properties that meet everyone’s individual needs. Most pressingly, priorities seem to include ensuring there are enough bathrooms, and even making sure of individual entrances where possible.

When grandparents are living in a multigenerational house, it’s also essential to make the space accessible through the use of stair lifts, or something like this wheelchair ramp slope calculator, which can ensure that everyone can move freely around the space. Make sure, too, that everyone is happy with things like property location, local amenities, and even simple things, like the size of the bedrooms available. 

Tip 2: Prioritize privacy

Privacy is key to most multigenerational living arrangements. It’s especially important to provide everyone with a private sanctuary for escape. It’s also key to take steps to safeguard that sanctuary with things like door-knocking policies and even locks on certain private areas. After all, as wonderful as it can be to have stronger ties with family members, most people also require some alone time. If everyone constantly feels exposed and at risk of having family members barge in at any moment, then arguments are inevitable. Respect is key to multigenerational success. Privacy is the best way to achieve it. 

Tip 3: Communicate openly

79% of people in the Generations United study stated improved family bonds as a significant benefit of multigenerational arrangements. This is more than even financial benefits (76%) and reflects our need for closer family ties. But those improved bonds are only possible when multigenerational living goes hand-in-hand with open communication. From the moment a family decides to adopt this way of life, it’s vital that everyone’s open and honest about what they expect from the arrangement, and also any concerns. This open approach to communication should continue at all times and ensures that resentments aren’t able to boil, and also that everyone is clear about each other’s needs, wants, and feelings. 

Multigenerational living offers a wide range of benefits. Bring them within easier reach by simplifying the switch with these secrets in mind. 

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