Intergenerational living is when people of different generations live together in the same household. It’s becoming more popular for a few reasons.
One reason is that many young adults are finding it hard to afford their own place, so living with a relative can be a way to save money.
Another reason is that baby boomers are often empty nesters who want companionship, but don’t want the hassle or expense of maintaining a separate household.
And finally, intergenerational living can provide support and care for both young and old alike.
Benefits Of Intergenerational Living
There are many benefits to intergenerational living for older adults, including improved mental and physical health, increased social connectedness, and enhanced support systems. For young adults, it can provide financial stability and independence while still being able to rely on family for support.
Mental Health Benefits:
Intergenerational living can provide important psychological benefits.
A sense of community and social connectedness is linked with improved mental health outcomes, and feeling like a valued member of society has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, supportive relationships with other generations can provide a sense of stability and meaning in life, which can be protective against mental health issues.
Physical Health Benefits:
In addition to mental health benefits, there are also physical health benefits associated with intergenerational living.
Older adults who live in intergenerational settings have been shown to have better physical health outcomes than those who live in traditional senior living arrangements.
Seniors who live in intergenerational settings have lower rates of disability, better self-reported health, and fewer chronic health conditions than those who live in traditional senior living arrangements.
Studies have also found that older adults who lived in intergenerational settings were more physically active than those who lived in traditional senior living arrangements.
Improved Cognitive Functioning:
Intergenerational living has also been linked with improved cognitive functioning in older adults. It seems that the positive effects of intergenerational living on cognitive functioning are mediated by social interactions between the generations.
Reduced Loneliness And Social Isolation:
Loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for poor mental and physical health in older adults but intergenerational living has been shown to reduce these concerns in older adults.
Finally, intergenerational living has also been linked with reduced mortality in older adults.
One study found that older adults who lived in intergenerational settings had a lower risk of death than those who lived in traditional senior living arrangements. This effect was particularly pronounced for older adults who were socially isolated.
What Are The Challenges Of Living With People From Different Generations?
As with anything, there are pluses and minuses to living with household members from different generations.
Different age groups often have different perspectives, values, and beliefs. This can make it difficult to find common ground and to understand each other.
Additionally, different generations may approach life and problems differently. For example, younger generations may be more likely to use technology and social media to communicate and connect, while older generations may prefer face-to-face interaction.
If you’re considering intergenerational living, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, be sure to have an honest conversation with your family member about expectations, boundaries, and communication styles.
- It’s also important to respect each other’s privacy and space, and to be considerate of different schedules and lifestyles.
- Finally, be prepared for some adjustment period as everyone gets used to living together.
Living with people from different generations can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. It’s a chance to learn from each other, to share experiences, and to build relationships that last a lifetime.