Aging In Place

9/7/2022 | By Charlie Fletcher

Are you an older adult with thoughts of moving in with your grown children or with friends or acquaintances of younger generations? These considerations can help you decide if multigenerational living is right for you.

The number of people living in multigenerational households is four times what it was in 1971. Today, over 60 million U.S. residents live with folks from different generations – that’s nearly 20% of the total population.

There are many different driving factors behind the increase in multigenerational living. But, at its core, multigenerational living is all about connecting with loved ones while reducing costs and improving everyone’s quality of life.

Deciding to live in a multigenerational household is a big decision. However, the move may benefit those of all generations.

Considerations for multigenerational living

Consider your needs

Admitting that your needs are changing as you age is difficult. However, aging with grace is all about accepting changes and receiving help when you need it.

Start by considering the relationships that bring you joy. If you find that the company of people your own age is preferable to mingling with younger family members and their friends, consider moving to a retirement community instead.

However, if you find that being close to your family – or other younger people – is more important than being around those of your own age, then moving into a multigenerational home might be the right decision. A multigenerational home will allow you to mingle with those from different generations and help you consider new ideas and ways of living.

You may also find that the level of support you receive by living in a multigenerational home suits you. If you are an active grandparent, then you’ll want to be around children and younger adults who are always moving and in need of help. Depending on your current ability, you might be able to drive younger folks to sports events or go on impromptu hikes and walks. Younger family members will also benefit from your experience with things like cooking, crafts, woodworking, and machine/automotive work too.

Consider their needs

grandfather and father teaching the son/grandson about shaving. All have razors and shaving cream on their faces. Prostockstudio Dreamstime. If you're thinking of moving in with younger generations, these considerations can help determine if multigenerational living works for you.

As an older adult, you shouldn’t feel bad about asking for support when you need it. Most younger people will understand that you aren’t able to be as independent as you were before. You are not overburdening them by asking for support or considering a new housing situation together. At the same time, don’t be offended if the people you ask ultimately decide this arrangement isn’t for them. Everybody needs to do what’s best for them, which is why you’re asking them in the first place, right?

All of that said, it is worth considering the needs of the younger folks before you move in. Work together to determine the best living situation for you both and consider the benefits and drawbacks of multigenerational living. For example, if you have young grandchildren, it may be a great time to move in and give your own children a break from the pressures of raising a family. Just be aware that you probably have different needs and navigate any differences with mutual respect.

Plan Activities

Multigenerational living is a practical way to navigate old age – it’s also a lot of fun! You get to spend time with younger people and can plan fun activities that everyone will enjoy. This can be a real boost to your physical and mental health as younger people tend to prefer more active games.

Children who live with older relatives also benefit from increased physical activity because they are able to partake in sports events when busy parents are at work. This can improve physical fitness in young people and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from when living in a multigenerational family. Some of the best activities involve cooling off in the pool. Family-friendly pool games include water aerobics, aqua jogging, and noodle races. You can also play yard games like badminton, cricket, or simply passing the soccer ball back and forth.

Consider sharing your own skills with the young generation – like gardening, playing an instrument, baking, and knitting – as well as letting them teach you their interests.

Related: How to be an active grandparent

Moving in with younger folks can be daunting. But living with younger family and close friends can be extremely rewarding and practical. You’ll all save money by splitting bills and will benefit from greater freedom and time for bonding activities, like pool games or cooking together. Just make sure everyone’s needs have been considered to ensure that the move-in process goes smoothly.

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees” – Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more of her writing at