The television presenter, Sarah Beeney, of Property Ladder fame has called for those families who live with their extended families to be given tax breaks. Multi-generational living would save the State an enormous amount in payments for social care, she says.
Multi-generational living used to be the norm with grandparents playing a large part in their grandchildren’s lives and helping with their care whilst this was reciprocated by children looking after their parents in old age. However, after the War, families became more segregated with the younger generation moving away from home to find work. This caused some social problems with families losing touch and situations where people were left to fend for themselves in their old age.
Since the recession the trend for families to regroup has started to become more popular once more. The high cost of housing, particularly in London and the South East, has seen the phenomena of boomerang children returning to live at home after university as they are unable to afford places of their own. Child care prices have also forced many people to look to their extended families for help and, once elderly parents are unable to live independently, people are beginning to realise that having them move in with them is the most practical solution in many cases.
Eight years ago we found a property here in Pembrokeshire for a family of four generations who had decided that living in an extended family unit was the way forward. We found them a farmhouse for the parents and their little girl, with a separate annexe in which the grandparents and great grandmother could live. There was also an office in the large garden from which the parents could work. We have kept in touch with the family and, although sadly the great grandmother has since died, the living arrangements have been a huge success. Their daughter has formed an incredibly close bond with her grandparents who help with her care before and after school and during the holidays allowing her parents to run their very successful business. They are also around to cover the office if required and, of course, the whole family were there to help look after the great grandmother. They all respected one another’s separate space but were there to help and care for each other. In years to come, each generation will be there to help care for the next; a shining example of how successful multi-generational living can be.
With social care budgets at breaking point, this must be the way forward and so Sarah Beeney’s idea for tax breaks for those who care for their relatives must be considered very seriously by the Government.
If you are looking for a property for your extended family, or thinking of moving to West Wales, we would be delighted to help you. Please call Carol or Rayner Peett on 01834 862816, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website on www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk