Beyond Age: Multigenerational Living

My primary focus has always been on women developing community to support each other as we age. Much of this comes from my own perspective as a baby boomer living in shared housing with other women near my own age range.

It seems that multi-generational living is currently on the rise. Many factors are contributing to this trend. Adult children are moving back in with their parents in record numbers. Economic realities make shared living situations more affordable for all family members. A generation of aging boomers who saw their parents hidden away in nursing homes is looking for alternatives.

Can families, whether chosen or by blood, foster community that disregards age and creates a situation for graceful aging?

In August of 2012, the AARP blog shared a two part post about the rise of multi-generational living. They shared some important tips on multi-generational families that I think are crucial to consider before establishing a household.

Click below to read more.

  1. It won’t all be roses. There will be communication issues and moments of frustration. They key is to recognize these as normal and learn ways to deal with them productively.
  2. Be willing to compromise. Don’t allow one family member to be the only person to make concessions every time. Work out ways to make the living situation fair to everyone.
  3. Talk about the money. It is conventionally known that married couples have more arguments about money than anything else. When you add more people to your household the tension surrounding money can become magnified. Have a financial plan that works for everyone’s budget.
  4. Allow for alone time. No one can spend every waking moment together without feeling some level of suffocation. This is normal and it is okay to want alone time. Everyone, especially primary caregivers, should take some time out each week to relax and recharge.

photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc

Multi-Generational living situations are different for everyone. Some families will have small children in the same house as their aging grandparents. Others may open their home up to aunts and uncles after their children leave for college. However you plan your multi-generational housing make sure that it is a healthy situation for you and everyone else in your family.

For more information on three generation households read this article from AARP.

Do you want to know more about alternatives to nursing homes and other ways to integrate community into your plan to age gracefully?   Contact me to learn more about Women for Living in Community.


  1. I love this, Marianne. I wholeheartedly agree that multiple generations living together is a great option. If you look at the human history, that has always been the way. It’s only been post WWII when that changed. Having realistic expectations is key.

Women For Living in Community