According to one study, one in three British homes incorporate two or more generations under the same roof and, although the general trend is for older children to move back in with their parents, in the past year we’ve seen more and more adults welcoming back their senior relatives. Granny annexes are an important landmark in British architecture and now, thanks to the resurgence of shared living, there’s more interest than ever in this type of home arrangement.
Nowadays, one in ten homes in the UK still has a granny annexe, so why should you consider adding one to your property?
One roof, separate spaces – how granny annexes perfectly bridge the gap between support and independence
Elderly care is a delicate matter that should be treated with the utmost respect and consideration. When one parent or grandparent reaches an age when they can no longer take care of themselves, and home maintenance becomes an issue, families should carefully consider their options and find a solution that accommodates both lifestyles. And while many families agree on a nursing home or retirement villages, some prefer to maintain closer ties and care after their loved one themselves.
But even though welcoming elderly relatives has its benefits, and growing up under the same roof with grandparents is great for kids, independence remains an important issue.
According to numerous studies, when seniors move back in with their children, they sense a loss of independence, and that can make them lose their motivation, self of purpose, and self-confidence. In the long run, that may also cause poor mental health and communication issues.
However, when seniors move back with their children but live in a separate granny annexe, this fosters independence, whilst still allowing them access to family care. You can check up on your loved ones and see if they’re doing ok, you can help them cook their meals, take their meds, and monitor their health more closely. They’re close enough to interact with their grandkids on a regular basis, which is a huge plus for everyone. According to a study from the University of Oxford, growing up with grandparents increases kids’ emotional resilience creates positive family relations and reduces the psychological bias towards older adults. At the same time, being surrounded by grandkids creates a support system for seniors and give real purpose and energy to those in their later years.
Finally, living in an annexe gives seniors more freedom to customise their living space and tailor it to their preferences. They can bring their pets along, or belongings that have emotional value, without worrying that they will take up too much space. They can receive visitors, as usual, create their own daily routines, and still have the peace of mind that, should they need it, help from their loved ones is just a few metres away.
With Christmas now behind us and the new hope that 2021 will bring a fresh new start and a less disruptive year, we are wishing you all a very positive and happy new year!
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