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Generations United Examines Multigenerational Households in a Volatile Economy

by Published On: Dec 09, 2011
Family Matters: Multigenerational Families in a Volatile Economy

On Dec. 6, Larry Minnix, board chair of Generations United, facilitated a panel discussion among aging services experts and family caregivers on the coalition's new report, Family Matters: Multigenerational Families in a Volatile Economy, which examines the formation of multigenerational households due to economic pressures. 

The report, which was based on a nationwide survey of multigenerational families the coalition commissioned by Harris Interactive, found the following:

  • 66% of survey respondents indicated that the current economic climate was a factor in the formation of their multigenerational household
  • for 21% of the respondents, the economy was the sole factor. 
  • 40% of survey respondents reported that job loss or underemployment caused the formation of their multigenerational household.
  • 20% of respondents cited health care costs as the precipitating factor. 

The report includes recommendations for federal, state and local policymakers, employers and community organizations to better meet the needs of multigenerational households.

Panel members and speakers included:  

  • Donna Butts, Generations United's executive director
  • Darren Gersh, the Washington bureau chief of the PBS Nightly Business Report 
  • Representatives of the Aspen Institute's Initiative on Financial Security
  • The AARP Public Policy Institute, and the National Council of La Raza's Economic Policy Project
  • Members of multigenerational households. 

Panelists discussed the enhanced bonds among family members that can result from multigenerational housing arrangements, along with the increased stress that can also occur.

Generations United is a coalition of organizations serving seniors, children and families. Its mission is to improve the lives of children youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit for all. 


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