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The family under one roof: This is how multigenerational living succeeds!

At some point, the time comes for almost everyone when their own parents grow older. Then the question often arises as to what should happen to them now. Of course, placement in a retirement or nursing home is out of the question. An alternative that is becoming increasingly popular is multigenerational living. Here, several generations are united under one roof. As in a real team, everyone looks after everyone else. A concept that has a future. These are the advantages and disadvantages of multigenerational living.

Difference between multigenerational housing and multigenerational living

Difference multi-generation house and multi-generation living

Although we use the word multigenerational house and multigenerational living synonymously here, there are still crucial differences between these two things. The multigenerational house is a place where young and old come together, for example, to eat or to pursue various courses and workshops. There are more than 500 of these houses throughout Germany, supported by around 20,000 volunteers.

In multigenerational living, several generations gather under one roof and live together. In most cases, these are single people, couples or families who live separately in the same house but look after each other.

What is multigenerational living?

Multigenerational living pros and cons

Here, different generations should live in harmony with each other and help each other. It doesn’t necessarily have to be just families with children living in a house with their grandparents, for example. Constellations are also conceivable in which all those involved do not know each other in advance.

The advantage of multigenerational living is that everyone can help each other. For example, elderly people can be cared for. If there are children in the house, the parents can take a day or evening off while the older generation looks after the little ones.

Here, everyone can learn from each other and live together in harmony. Even if all the housemates are unknown to each other at the beginning, this mutual help creates something like a family.

Planning is everything

For the multigenerational living project to succeed, good planning is essential. The first thing to do is to clarify a few basic points, such as:

  • Who is to live in the house?
  • In which house will they live? In the end, of course, the size depends on the number of people in the house.
  • Where is the house located? If necessary, it would be necessary to move.
  • Is the house owned by any of the people or will they live in it for rent?
  • What expenses will be incurred?
  • Finally, rules need to be established for all involved to make coexistence work.

There are also solutions for special care cases

older people can benefit from this multigenerational living

Especially older people who already need a certain degree of care, for example because they are ill, can benefit from this multigenerational living. Either the younger generation can help take care of them or, if the amount of care required is so great that it has to be handled by professional staff, 24-hour care may be advisable.

This is an additional person who complements the multigenerational living. This person is integrated into the family or the community and at the same time takes care of the person in need of care in the house. This has the advantage that the person does not have to be placed in a home and they always have a permanent reference person for home care.

Advantages and disadvantages of multigenerational living

What is multigenerational living

As with any thing in life, multigenerational living has certain advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include

  • Home care that can be provided around the clock,
  • social contacts and joint leisure activities that can be undertaken,
  • a high level of well-being for all involved, as everyone can benefit from each other, and
  • the prevention of social isolation, which is a major problem, especially for older people.

However, the form of living with several generations under one roof also has a few disadvantages that are worth mentioning.

  • There is a high potential for conflict, as many people spend a lot of time together in a small space.
  • A lot of trust, patience and tolerance is required from everyone involved.
  • Agreements and adherence to rules is essential.

Overall, however, the advantages of multigenerational living outweigh the disadvantages, since everyone can really benefit from it if they all abide by the established rules.

Generational conflicts can always occur

Generation conflicts can always exist

Especially between generations, and less so within them, conflicts can always arise and need to be addressed. Especially when it comes to raising children, opinions often diverge. After all, today’s upbringing is different than it was a few decades ago, for example. However, this can lead to disagreements when the older generation looks after the children of the younger.

In multigenerational living, a good culture of disagreement is important. Everything must be discussed openly. This settles disputes and at the same time creates trust on both sides. Only in this way can harmonious coexistence work.

Living together in harmony

Together living with multi-generation living harmoniously arrange

For multigenerational living to work, planning during cohabitation is important. Above all, planning should take place together. From shopping to leisure activities, everything is possible. Everyone is involved and is allowed to make suggestions and give his or her opinion, but must also listen. However, there should not be too tight planning in order to still be flexible in everyday life.

If everyone abides by the rules and is open with each other, their own multigenerational living project can be a complete success for everyone.