Gransnet forums


multigenerational living

(74 Posts)
jumpingjaques Mon 11-Mar-19 15:46:28

Just read this and found it really interesting.

A few years after my husband passed, my eldest daughter (is it DD1? sorry I dont quite understand the acronyms yet) and her partner invited me to live with them, but in a little flat of my own at the bottom of their house which went out into the garden. I didn't want t impose, but knew it would mean I would get to spend lots of time with them and my lovely grandchildren (which I rarely saw before this point) and save some money, from council tax etc. (and have lots of little hands to help me with the shopping!) while still maintaining some of my independence.

It’s actually working really well for us so far. I babysit the children wherever needed and my daugher and her partner look after me really well. But reading the article sounds like people have a really hard time out of it.

Have you ever lived with multiple generations under one roof?

MissAdventure Mon 11-Mar-19 15:49:44

Not under one roof, but nearly.
My mum came to live with me in my flat for almost a year, whilst my daughter lived just upstairs in the same block with her children.

It worked really well. smile

Namsnanny Mon 11-Mar-19 15:55:18

Not since I was a child where my parents gparents and auntie and uncle all shared a two up two down!!
I’m so glad that it’s working well for you!! I haven’t read the article yet but I suppose each situation is different. We half half an eye on the future when we bought our house over 20 years ago, in case in-laws or parents or even ac needed a place, but not necessary yet!!
Again so happy for you flowersflowers

Riverwalk Mon 11-Mar-19 16:09:20

No experience of this but going with the theme of multi-generational: the other day on the Farming Today programme there was an item on rural living and older people. It was recorded at some sort of social club that collected people from surrounding areas.

One woman, who had serious health problems, lived in an annexe joined to her daughter's house - she said she was so very lonely; her daughter worked away a lot and the local rural transport was non-existent. No other information was supplied.

Poor woman sounded really desperate.

So it's not always advantageous to live with your family, rather live somewhere that suits you and your developing needs as you grow older.

jumpingjaques Mon 11-Mar-19 16:16:28

Yes, that's what I was thinking Riverwalk. Doesn't always benefit everyone unfortunately. depends on the person and the situation.

And thank you Namsnanny grin I am very lucky indeed!

Riverwalk Mon 11-Mar-19 16:25:49

Are you rural or urban jumping?

jumpingjaques Mon 11-Mar-19 16:33:36

Seaford. A fairly quiet coastal town but not in the middle of nowhere. Plenty to do and great transport to other towns/vilalges too

Riverwalk Mon 11-Mar-19 16:38:09

Yes, that's the key - plenty to do and great gransport.

luluaugust Mon 11-Mar-19 16:55:06

jumpingjaques I am glad it is working well for you but my only experience of this was having tea with an elderly lady who had moved in with her family and found she had a lot of childcare responsibilities whilst her son and DIL worked and was very lonely once the GC were grown up. Another friend who had a flat round the corner from her family seemed to fare much better.

M0nica Mon 11-Mar-19 16:58:08

The problem I find with it, is that it is always assumed that the older person will be happy to downsize to live in a small one bedroomed or studio apartment. We would find that size of living accommodation far too small.

A friend, now in her 70s has bought the house immediately behind her daughter's house with a gate in the back fence, It gives her and her DH, both access and privacy and a house with enough space to have friends round for a meal, have her other son and family to stay and run her small catering business.

Jane10 Mon 11-Mar-19 17:19:39

When I was young both grandmothers lived with us in separate flatlets. As children we loved having Gran and Granny around but there were obvious undercurrents between the adults. The situation didn't last very long. Granny moved out to her own place (as she had planned all along) and Gran became slowly more unwell and ended up in a nursing home. I think my mother hated the arrangement but she was at home with them all day and we were at school or work. The Grans didn't like each other much either. All things considered, not very successful!

Humbertbear Mon 11-Mar-19 18:59:49

We have our forty something daughter living with us. She has the ‘loft’. She keeps us young and current and we give her stability. It works so well for us that we sometimes all go away together.

FlexibleFriend Mon 11-Mar-19 19:23:24

I live with my youngest son and his GF, they have a 6 week old baby. I have a large 4 bed house and was living alone but needed help with things around the house. They could afford their own place although they were renting. They gave up their rental and moved in with me at the same time buying somewhere to rent out so they'd have a foot on the property ladder. We have separate lounges but share the kitchen, dining room etc. We live pretty independently in perfect harmony. I like having them here and the feeling appears to be mutual. I think it depends on the people involved.

rosecarmel Mon 11-Mar-19 19:39:16

Works for us- I've 2 sons living with me-

Fennel Mon 11-Mar-19 19:42:53

Sounds a wonderful idea if you have plenty of room.
We live with my MGPs in their big house during WW2. So many benefits.

Namsnanny Mon 11-Mar-19 19:47:13

MOnica, that sounds a great arrangement for your friend. Lucky they could find a house so convenient for sale at the right time!!

Barmeyoldbat Mon 11-Mar-19 20:28:18

No, my son would drive me mad. Quite happy living nearby.

BradfordLass72 Mon 11-Mar-19 21:15:45

My younger son lived with me for a long time and it worked beautifully.

I couldn't spend a week with my elder boy without tension smile

My mother lived with us when the boys were young and it worked sometimes but tried my patience to the limit until she found a cottage and went independent.

I have instructed my boys that if I were to go gaga I would NOT want to live anywhere but a rest home. At least I could abscond from there! grin

grannyactivist Mon 11-Mar-19 21:17:37

Our family (husband, three children, au pair and me) moved in with my parents-in-law when we first moved to Devon and we lived together very happily for almost a year until we bought our own house in a nearby town. Recently my parents-in-law have moved to be just a five minute walk away, but I have a downstairs en-suite room with it's own access just waiting for them if they should need/want to move in with us. My adult children have all moved back home for short periods, including my elder son and his wife who moved in for several months just after their marriage. It has always worked well for us, but then we always have multi-generational holidays too.

CanadianGran Mon 11-Mar-19 21:45:48

I think it works if boundaries are well set. We shared our 2 level house with mother in law. One wall put at the bottom of the stairs separated it into two suites and meant you had to go around and knock on each other's door if you wanted to visit.

As our family grew, she moved to an apartment closer to town and we took over the whole house by taking down the barrier wall.
Now as the years have passed by, our children have grown and departed, but youngest son would like to purchase the house, and we move to the downstairs suite. The 'wall' may be put up again at some point!

paddyann Tue 12-Mar-19 01:09:01

weput an offer in on a house a few years ago with the intention of a flat for us ,one for son and his family and a seperate 2 bedroom cottage for MIL.The offer was accepted an dwe were all looking forward to our communal lifestyle .Then the seller pulled out .Now MIL wants to stay where she is and son and his partner are happy in a new flat .I think it could have worked well for us all and would be more than happy to try if another house turned up.Maybe the time has passed though,so we're downsizing instead .

BlueSapphire Tue 12-Mar-19 07:06:55

I'm afraid I don't remember my experience as I was a baby! My parents lived with my aunty and grandmother when they were first married, and then I came along! I think we were there for three years. From stories she told, my mother did not get on with my granny (her MIL).

One of my friends who was widowed about 10 years ago was asked to go and live with her daughter and family. They clubbed together and sold their respective houses and bought a large three storey house. The top floor was turned into a flat for my friend, her DD and DSIL had the first floor and the ground floor communal. A few years later my friend remarried and her new husband moved into the family home. It all seemed to work quite well. In fact they have just sold up and all moved into a new three storey house , this time they have swapped floors - DD has the top floor and friend and her DH have the first floor. Still all living happily together!

Anja Tue 12-Mar-19 07:40:01

It was bad enough when my daughter and family moved back from NZ and stayed with us for 6 months when looking for work and a house to buy.

No thanks!

Anniebach Tue 12-Mar-19 08:37:20

being part of a large extended family it has always been the same, no parent goes into care, uncles and aunts lived with my cousins , my three sisters will live with their children if their health fails. It was accepted I would live with or close to my elder daughter but she died. Seems I will be the first in generations who may go into a care home or have carers

M0nica Tue 12-Mar-19 08:52:29

It is all very well to be nostalgic about how in the past families could look after the elderly at home, but women did not work then, or in most cases did not have to work, the elderly person had to accept living conditions, quite common then, that would be unacceptable now: no space of their own, sharing a bed with another adult or even child in the family, sleeping in the family living room.

It always seems to me in many of these arrangements, the older generation have to give up so much for the system to work, dispose of a life time of belongings, in order to fit into the much smaller accommodation provided in most granny flats, quite often move far from an area they have lived in for decades and leave all their friendship networks and activities behind and then be eternally grateful and at the beck and call of their children and grandchildren for providing the accommodation (which they will probably have contributed to the cost of) they live in.

Yes, these arrangements can work, but an awful lot do not.