Family living

Dutch society is changing from a welfare state to a participatory society. Nearly all over the world, adults take care of their parents and the elderly, in return, take care of their grandchildren. The Netherlands is an exception to this. The Family Living project aims to restore this balance by formulating intergenerational housing concepts.

Introduction to Family Living

Designing Family Living seems so simple and logical because it occurs all over the world, but it becomes complicated and illogical once you place it in the Netherlands. Our current self-centered lifestyle is literally reflected in precisely measured home products such as the terraced house on a residential street with the car at your doorstep: it works until you consider taking your mother in your house...

Familie-Wonen is a form of housing in development, in which parties from the healthcare sector, project development and designers are involved. It facilitates informal care within the family. Beneficial parties are municipalities that implement the Social Support Act (WMO) and want to encourage informal care. They can participate in this type of housing under development.

"New forms of living for informal care and multiple generations."

Ambition The ambition is to arrive at forms of housing in which several generations can live together and take care of each other. In a rural, suburban and urban setting. In a villa, a terraced house or in an apartment building. In a house, in a garden or in a yard. It is the ambition to intertwine the lives of different generations in a contemporary way.

Care for the elderly and family care Many people in their forties find themselves in the situation that they see their parents grow older around them, while they live separately from each other. They are unable to perform light care tasks, even though they would like to. At the same time, the elderly would like to take care of their grandchildren, but see practical objections due to the distance and cramped housing. By removing the physical distance and the limitations in the form of housing, different generations can perform care tasks for each other in a natural way.

Backpack home versus family home In the backpack home, assistance by carers is central. This can be care for the mentally handicapped, the disabled or the elderly. A one-dimensional organization of assistance is assumed. Family Living does not start from a care demand, but from the ambition to make family lives coincide on the basis of equality, without disrupting each other's individual lives. The grandparents live separately from the (grand) children, but meet informally and support each other if necessary. Where a sense of community between several elderly people can be found in a natural way. Family Living creates social bonds within and between families.

Communities A Family House in which several generations live together can exist independently, but it is an added value when several Family Houses are located together. Elderly people can visit each other during the day, and children can play with each other. In this way, communities or neighborhoods are created, in which the quality of life increases.

Care financing developments NL Until recently, the costs for elderly care were paid from the AWBZ and the WMO. Since last year, there has been an obligation for more wealthy elderly people to contribute to healthcare costs. It is expected that the share that the elderly will have to contribute themselves will increase. The proverbial 'eating your own house' as it was until the 1990s is coming into view again. This means that the younger generation sees their inheritance being spent on healthcare costs.

Financial benefits The elderly in the Netherlands are relatively wealthy. In addition, they often also have a large wealth, which is often lacking in young families. Through a joint effort by young people and the elderly, a common form of living can offer a solution for both, whereby one makes financial matters possible for the other, and the other guarantees longer-term independence for one.

For municipalities, with a properly functioning informal care system, less money needs to be spent on the WMO. In addition, aids such as hoists can be used more efficiently. There will also be less pressure on childcare.

Project: Research into Family Living in the Netherlands

Location: Dutch Municipalities

Partners: Juurlink+Geluk Urbanism+Landscape, Juli Design and Advice, Knowledge Center WMO, Bouwfonds Development, Inclusio

Planning: Research 2014-2015

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