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Home truths: Families living together or apart?

by on July 30, 2014

Two stories stand out in contrast in the discussion of how different age groups are coping with the challenges of living in a difficult housing market.

On the one hand the Telegraph headlines that “One in three people would not house ageing parents” with the condition here being if they required full time care.  This is a personal issue to me as we are just in the process of working through the options within our own family and it is this vague notion of ‘full time care’ that might be worth unpacking here.  The survey was also aimed at those with parents over 60 – well we are just getting round to this discussion with my mum turning 81!  My answer when she was 61 would have been very different.  Indeed that was a couple of years before she came to stay with me for two weeks to help with my newborn so the care shoe was definitely on a different foot then!   So personally I think the Care UK survey needs a bit more work before we can believe the apparently harsh headline stats.

On the other hand the Independent offers a new generational title (enough already…please!):  “The clipped wing generation”  highlighting ‘research’ that suggested “Two million young adults in jobs are still living with their parents – and unable to lead fully independent lives – because housing has become so unaffordable”.  I couldn’t spot the origin of the research* but I did wonder whether the ‘clipped wings’ were these young adults or their parents – all of whom would seem to be paying the price in this situation.  The survey only seemed to have canvassed the young’s perspective.

Sooo…what home truths emerge here?  That housing is a problem for all ages, that families are apparently both working together (extending the home life of the young) and apart (not taking in the old)?  I suspect the latter is a gross simplification of the challenges many families face.

*I think it was a You Gov poll but their website is headlining news about British love of thunderstorms today!

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