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Old 08-24-2019, 10:42 PM
 
279 posts, read 60,147 times
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I have this perhaps idealistic, old-fashioned notion that multiple generations in an extended family can live together under one roof (on separate floors) and it’s the best of all worlds. Everyone saves money. Nobody is lonely. Everybody helps one another out. No space goes to waste. The elders provide love and wisdom to the younger generation. Nobody ever has to eat dinner alone. The house is always in an immaculate state of repair.

But few people in my extended family seem to share that vision with me. Every time I suggest it, nobody shows any interest. What am I missing? Does anybody have personal experience with this, good or bad?

Last edited by Snapper_head; 08-24-2019 at 10:51 PM..
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:11 PM
 
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My grandparents owned two connecting homes. They lived on one side & we the other. It was awesome having the elders so accessible. My paternal grandparents lived around the corner. That was also awesome. If no one was home when I got off school I just walked around the corner where it was always filled with Grandma, aunts, uncles & cousins. This was the norm in my area. It is still the norm for many minorities. We aren’t as individualistic in our thinking knowing there truly is strength in numbers. I read this is common in Spain as well. My plan is to buy a multi generational home so my mom & mother-in-law will have a place when it’s time. Oh & my kids if they desire.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:19 PM
Status: "Infractionation!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Earth
414 posts, read 304,927 times
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No personal experience here but what you're describing is essentially the communal, village life that most of our ancestors enjoyed. The industrial revolution and ensuing search for work put an end to that style of living (in my neck of the woods).

I can't say that I'd enjoy that too much. It's not the family that's the problem, it's the people they married that sours the idea IMO.
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Old Yesterday, 12:40 AM
 
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Sounds like a great set up since everyone has their own floor /level so there is enough privacy.
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Old Yesterday, 02:05 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,907 posts, read 40,406,427 times
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for most (in USA) and on this forum
Worst Nightmare
Never even consider it.

It can work with:
1) Congenial people who are purposed to make it work (forgiving / adaptable / non-intense)
2) Correct facility (separate cabins / structures are sometimes preferred (less noise and a place to 'get-alone')
3) Willing to share tasks
4) Honest and patient enough to communicate and resolve differences.
5) Non-materialistic enough to forgo the 'equity growth' conundrum.
6) Willing to share / trust others with resources and assets. (Wash machine, tools, food, utilities maybe cars, tractors, trucks)

look into:
  • ic.org
  • Study other western cultures inter-generational and cooperative housing it is common (Danish / Dutch / Norwegian)
  • Define your objectives
  • Determine if objectives align with other members of home / facility
  • Set up a plan (with written guidelines and paths to mediate differences)
  • Review plans a few times / yr
  • Have an escalation process if something unexpected comes up.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff...
Things that bug me (but shouldn't).

Conservation efforts. (Important to me, but not other members of household)
We are on a well and septic, and use very little electricity ($60 / month for full electric home) = BE conservative, be CAREFUL!!! (what... and how often you flush) $20,000 septic repair will come out of MY pocket.

minor example... some members take 20 min showers instead of 5 min, and use extra heating devices (to 80+F rather than 65F, and do 5+ loads of laundry / week, and invite lots of family guests (over 70 nights in the last yr) sometimes 6 - 10 family members each visit. (free for them).

Seems to me... If I cause extra burden on the resources... I would compensate the 'reserve funds' to cover extra wear and tear. (Washer and dryer / well, utilities, driveway wear... (Amazon PRIME costs me over $10k / yr in rural driveway repairs!). Guest ordered a $0.75 can of Baking Powder and it was delivered (free?) by a 10,000# truck that tore up the driveway. I was not impressed (I buy / replace / repair the driveways). This happens nearly everyday (2-3 deliveries 5x / week) Driveway was designed for 2 - 3 moving trucks every 5 to 10 yrs...

Living in 'town' on public services and a paved street suitable for 3x / day commercial vehicle use and 4x / day resident use would solve some of these problems.

But..I am growing up and learning to 'deal-with-it'.

so... be considerate of what you 'cost' others.

My stuff is not my own... I'm just temporary here on Earth. It is good to help those in need (but can be a challenge in many ways).

This is just training for the senior village I hope to create...
Yapping dogs will be my breaking point. My farm dogs know when to bark (once), and they don't like to visit inside 'people houses'!, and... they have NEVER pooped in the yard (6+ dogs in last 50+ yrs, no messes within sight or smell of the farm house, I have never 'stumbled' upon a dog mess. Where they 'go' I do not know, nor need to know. It is not near the house, nor in the farmyard, nor the treed grove where the farm equipment is parked, nor near the barns, nor fences.(?) who knows).

Last edited by StealthRabbit; Yesterday at 02:14 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,940 posts, read 5,063,089 times
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For us, having family members nearby but living separately in their own houses worked.

When my mother retired we bought a small house nearby and let her live there free. She helped the family and we helped her. After she died, we sold the extra house.

Living separately but close by affords each generation privacy but makes each available to help out.
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Old Yesterday, 06:47 AM
 
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Go to the DC area and you will see many Asian/Indian Sub Continent families living together in luxury housing. Older folks take care of kids during the day with multiple families from their children.
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Old Yesterday, 06:54 AM
 
12,781 posts, read 10,112,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapper_head View Post
I have this perhaps idealistic, old-fashioned notion that multiple generations in an extended family can live together under one roof (on separate floors) and itís the best of all worlds. Everyone saves money. Nobody is lonely. Everybody helps one another out. No space goes to waste. The elders provide love and wisdom to the younger generation. Nobody ever has to eat dinner alone. The house is always in an immaculate state of repair.

But few people in my extended family seem to share that vision with me. Every time I suggest it, nobody shows any interest. What am I missing? Does anybody have personal experience with this, good or bad?
Only works if all the employed people in the household have jobs close together or at the very least in the same city. Also some people, particularly in Western culture, want more privacy. Finally, sometimes family members have a severe personality mismatch that essentially necessitates living apart.
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Old Yesterday, 07:09 AM
 
1,813 posts, read 658,593 times
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I grew up in the 1960s - 1970s Balkans, where it was normal (due to shortage and cost of housing) for an urban couple to live with one set of parents (either own parents or in-laws), until the old folks died. Urban families were small, often one child, most commonly two, essentially never more than two. In majority of cases, younger couples lived with the wife's parents. Grandparents generally took care of the household and kids (I was raised by my grandparents), while the younger couple took care of their careers. It enabled professional women to devote more focus to work (I have never heard about gender inequality in workplace, or that doctors or engineers would be mostly male, until I came to the US - that was a huge surprise). What happened if a grandparent fell seriously ill is that they would go to the hospital, and rapidly die either at the hospital or at home. Medicine wasn't aggressively applied to old people.

It was crowded (my grandparents lived in one room, my parents in another, I had a part of the living room barricaded off by a large bookcase/wardrobe combination behind which I had my bed and desk, my brother's territory was a cupboard and a Murphy bed in the hallway - everyone constantly walked by him, his only privacy were the earphones (which were available later in the 70s). There was one bathroom for everyone. But it worked. My family was educated and civilized, everybody was quiet and considerate, we were intellectual and non-materialistic, and I did not feel that I lacked anything.

I am not saying it is ideal to live on near-nothing (as we did, dictated by the bankrupt economy of a corrupt socialist country), but am saying that a family group of decent people can actually live together multi-generationally, and enrich each other's life. It all depends on the quality of people involved.
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Old Yesterday, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
57,008 posts, read 55,317,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapper_head View Post
I have this perhaps idealistic, old-fashioned notion that multiple generations in an extended family can live together under one roof (on separate floors) and it’s the best of all worlds. Everyone saves money. Nobody is lonely. Everybody helps one another out. No space goes to waste. The elders provide love and wisdom to the younger generation. Nobody ever has to eat dinner alone. The house is always in an immaculate state of repair.

But few people in my extended family seem to share that vision with me. Every time I suggest it, nobody shows any interest. What am I missing? Does anybody have personal experience with this, good or bad?
I lived that way for a time, although it wasn't planned. I am one of seven siblings, so my parents did a couple of additions to the three-bedroom house they built when they had three kids. Eventually it had six bedrooms and three baths. My grandmother lived with us when I was a teenager in her last years.

Fast forward 25 years, my other grandmother moved in with my parents when in her late 80s, and my brother moved back into his old room when he and his wife divorced so that he had a good place to have his daughter on the weekends and she could also see her paternal grandparents and great-grandma.

Then the house my husband and I were renting burned down one night, and we and our daughter moved into my parents' house temporarily, but it stretched into a few years for my daughter and me after the marriage ended. I had a long commute to the city, and my mother was there for my daughter before and after school. My brother and I continued to live there and pay rent and his daughter came on the weekend. The girls were the closest thing to a sister each other had.

So, for about four or five years until I recovered financially from the marriage enough to get my own place, I raised my daughter in a four-generation house. I believe it did her a lot of good, plus she had a big house and yard with a lot of play area. Her friends came over regularly after school, and to this day, my mother is Grandma to her now-adult friends.

On the flip side, over six years, my father, then my grandmother, then my brother died, and I think the grief was a bit more intense from all of us having shared a home as adults. For a time, it was difficult to go to see my mother with the house so quiet.

But wait, it continued on...both of my younger brothers moved in with my mother at separate times after relationships ended and they both developed health issues, but one is able to take care of the house and yard, and the other cooks and does laundry for her, so at almost 91, she is able to remain in her home.
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