Point taken: The benefits of multigenerational housing
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From adult children moving in with their parents, to parents moving in with their kids, On Point listeners told us how living in multigenerational households shapes their lives.
Rachel, Carmel, CA
Living with her parents has enabled Rachel to further her education.
“By living with my family I'm able to actually afford to go back to graduate school and to study without taking out more student loans, which would have been completely impossible if I weren't able to live with my family.”
Rachel has also struggled with pandemic-induced isolation and other mental health challenges and living with her family has played an important part in her recovery.
“My family has been really supportive and helpful in a number of different facets. And I know that being with them during this point in my life is setting me up to be better both financially and in terms of my mental health in the future.”
Rhonda, Virginia Beach, VA
Multigenerational housing isn’t just adult children moving in with parents, Rhonda moved in with her grown daughter, because she got sick and had to go on disability.
“I couldn't afford a place 5 years ago. So, this isn't new. The prices continue to just go up. It's ridiculous. I feel for my daughter. I mean, she's basically taking care of me. ... I don't think that people know that the parents are actually living with their kids, too.”
Melissa Schwab, Hartland, NY
Ten years ago, Melissa, her husband, and their teenage children, moved in with her parents to care for her mother going through cancer treatment.
Today, her kids have gone off to college and moved out. But Melissa, her husband, and her parents, are still there:
“Multigenerational living has been a great thing for us. It's worked out well. It's not the easiest thing, but it's also something that we had to do. It's helped keep my family's homestead in the family … for over 80 years now.
"And it has also kept my mother out of a nursing home, which has really been a great thing, especially when COVID had hit. The house is very large, which gives us our space.
"As an adult child living with your parents, it's not the easiest thing. But it has also given me a different perspective on looking at my parents in different ways than I would have ever had, had I not moved in with my parents."
Kathleen Eggen, Raymore, MO
Kathleen’s mother had been living on her own for ten years after her husband died, but seven years ago the family realized that mom also needed more support. So, Kathleen and her husband built a Granny suite.
“Her living with us for seven years gave her the time to transition to where she lives now, in assisted living. She was nowhere near ready to do that when she moved in with us.
"It also allowed us to have her near us during the pandemic which was very much a blessing. I think the secret to the success of having a parent live with you is having their own separate space that’s designed specifically for them.”