Research shows that 20% of Australians live in a multi-generational household spanning at least two generations of related adults. And the numbers seem to be rising. That’s because there are plenty of incredible benefits of living with extended members of your family. Here are some of them:
1. More time for family members to bond
The more time you spend with people you love, the deeper your bonds grow. Say, you have granny flats in Melbourne, you can interact with your older parents or in-laws more often. Your children get the opportunity to interact with their grandparents, and they can become good friends. Children-in-law and parents-in-law also get the opportunity to get to know one another better. These close interactions boost familial intimacy. As a result, everyone gets to enjoy improved relationships.
2. The older generations get cared for well
As people get older, they tend to have complications that often affect their health negatively. There may come a time when seniors are not in a position to care for themselves. That means they are likely to suffer if they stay alone. Alternatively, they may get professional caregivers. But that would mean that they would be taken care of by strangers most of the time. And there is no guarantee that they would be in the best hands.
However, multi-generational living can help change that. Instead of the elderly members of the family suffering alone or being cared for by strangers, family members can step in. Everyone can take turns helping out the senior members of the family. Even when professionals are needed, the family can supervise closely to make sure that their loved ones are cared for as they should.
3. Readily available childcare
Childcare costs can be quite high. For financially-unstable families in Australia, childcare costs can be unaffordable. Reports show that childcare costs an average of $6000 a year for a typical Australian household. That is usually about 27% of the family’s income.
One major advantage of multi-generational living is readily-available childcare. Because there are adults of different generations living within the same home, there will be someone available to take care of the young ones. This gives the parents peace of mind. Besides, children are more likely to be well taken care of by family members who love them.
4. Improved sense of well-being
When the senior members are left to fend for themselves, they are more likely to feel lonely. The same applies to younger members of the family who are far away from the rest of their loved ones. In this case, both grandparents and grandchildren can play essential roles in each other’s’ lives.
According to one Oxford study, children whose grandparents had a stronger role in their upbringing have fewer and behavioural issues. Those with single parents can, therefore, benefit even more from having their grandparents take on supportive parental roles. It’s also worth noting that senior family members would not have to deal with loneliness anymore if they have grand kids around.
If you would like to try out a multi-generational family lifestyle, then you may need to make some adjustments in terms of space. One way to do that is by building granny flats in your backyard, which is a more affordable option than building an entire house from scratch. And it can help you spend more time with extended members of your family quickly.