We live in an aging society. Every family will at some point be confronted with this question, “Where should grandma and grandpa live?” What are the housing options for the elderly and dependent family members?
This is a challenge that most families are facing in our aging society. It can be overwhelming for both the elderly and the families who need to care for them.
We know that most elderly prefer to live independently and age in their own home. Research also tells us that this is a healthier way of living for them. However, most of our homes are not designed to meet the needs of our aging society nor it is designed for families to care for their elderly.
If you are a family with elderly or dependent family members to look after, what housing options can you provide for them?
Housing Options for the Elderly and Dependent Family Members
There are 3 housing options for the elderly and dependent family members:
- Granny Flats
Granny Flats are also known as Dependent Person’s Unit (DPU)
Under most councils in Victoria, the definition of a Dependent Person’s Unit is a “movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling”. A common term for this form of accommodation is Granny Flat.
Granny Flat is usually a separate building from the main house but is built on the same plot of land. It is one way to provide housing options for the elderly and dependent family members. It provides privacy and independence to the elderly and dependent family members while staying close to them if they need help.
In Victoria, we have more restrictions on the use of granny flats than in other States such as New South Wales. We hope over time, the regulations will change to catch up with the need of society.
RACV published an article about building a granny flat in Victoria which is worth reading if you or your family is considering building a granny flat.
- Multigenerational home
A multigenerational home means two generations or more of related adults living under one roof.
Often families make an arrangement where elderly parents move in with adult children and their families to take care of the elderly.
Multigenerational home living arrangements are common among some cultures where they look after the elderly within their family and community instead of putting them into institutional home care.
There is a heart-warming book by Lisa M. Cini ‘Hive: the simple guide to multigenerational living’. It shares the nuances and dynamics of a four-generation family living under one roof and caring for a grandma with dementia.
Multigenerational home living can be a great way of fostering relationships between the older generations and the younger generations and providing mutual support.
Multigenerational homes, when designed correctly and with care, can provide proximity without sacrificing the need for privacy and independence. Although, for some families, multigenerational home living can be challenging. It depends on the family dynamics of each family.
- Hybrid home
In recent years, I come across families who wanted to build two units on one plot of land. They wanted the convenience of living in close proximity but in separate homes for independence and privacy. It is neither a granny flat nor a multigenerational home. It is also not multi-unit development, although it looks like one.
It looks like each family has their own way of resolving housing options for the elderly and dependent family members.
As society and family units change, we see the need for the housing industry to provide innovative and diverse types of homes for different types of family and their needs.
If you are a family that can’t find a home that meets your needs in the market, we would love to help you!
It is our passion to help your family design and build a future home that meets your current and future changing needs.
Book our Free Clarity Call to discuss your unique home needs.
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