“Generation Wait” – the 20-somethings still living with their parents, meet Generation Senior – the aging parents of the parents who are moving in too. As America becomes more diverse, the more our households are becoming multi-generational.
“No matter how old your kids are, you still feel like you can tell them what to do,” says Mary Jo Rapini, a family therapist. “Whereas with your parents there is a line of respect, and as parents get older they also become more opinionated.
About 7.4% of people over the age of 65 in the United States live with their children or other relatives based on an analysis of 2013 Census figures, up from 6.6% in the mid-90’s. Another more comprehensive study puts the 2013 figure closer to 9%.
Where the 20-somethings are moving home because they can’t afford to support themselves, most seniors who move in with their children are financially secure and offer a life-line of support to the household finances.
What is causing the increase in the percentage? Foreign born senior citizens who have brought the culture of their homeland with them. 25% of foreign born seniors live with relatives, as compared to 6% of American born seniors. Asian and Hispanic cultures account for most of the foreign born seniors who have moved in with their adult children.
“In countries like India, Viet Nam, China, Mexico, along with respect for aging there is a respect for the wisdom that comes with aging,” Mary Jo Rapini tells KTRH News. “They rally around that. They want to keep the older people around them because they rely on their guidance and their wisdom.”
Beyond the location of birth, other factors that indicate where seniors will live are age (80 and over), being widowed, and gender (females more likely).