Thursday, December 8, 2011

Generations United Report Highlights the Needs of Multigenerational Families

This week, Generations United released Family Matters: Multigenerational Families in a Volatile Economy. The report highlights the recent increase of Americans living in multigenerational households and provides practical recommendations for policymakers, funders and employers as they play a critical role in supporting the well-being of families. 

According to the report, a multigenerational home is defined as “one that contains three or more parent-child generations.” A recent nationwide survey found that roughly one in six Americans lives in a multigenerational household – a 10% increase since the economic recession in 2007. In fact, 66% of respondents currently residing in a multigenerational household reported that the economic climate was a factor in their decision to reside with family members. There are undoubtedly several benefits to living in multigenerational homes. For example, 82% of survey respondents reported that multigenerational households have improved relationships among family members. Similarly, multigenerational households had a poverty rate of 11.5% in 2009 compared to 14.6% non-generational households. However, multigenerational households also face significant challenges. For example, many families are responsible for covering the medical expenses of older family members who lack quality healthcare.

The report suggests that, although our economic state is likely to improve, the number of multigenerational households may only continue to increase as baby boomers begin to retire. According to the report, ensuring that families have access to affordable housing and access to quality healthcare can be a critical first step as communities consider how to meet the needs of multigenerational families.

For more information about Generations United and access to the report, click here.

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