The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a study of elders that live in environments where young children are in the home.  Most typically, this happens when an elderlay parent moves in to the home of one of their children, and the youngsters are their grandchildren.  The study found that:

"Elderly Americans who live with people under age 18 have lower life evaluations than those who do not. They also experience worse emotional outcomes, including less happiness and enjoyment, and more stress, worry, and anger. In part, these negative outcomes come from selection into living with a child, especially selection on poor health, which is associated with worse outcomes irrespective of living conditions. Yet even with controls, the elderly who live with children do worse."

The paper goes on to illustrate that in poorer countries, where extended families in the same home are common, it doesn't seem to present the same problem.  As we have become a society where families are dispersed, it seems the living arrangement with kids effects the most.  

The paper puts it this way: In parts of the world where fertility rates are higher, the elderly do not appear to have lower life evaluations when they live with children; such living arrangements are more usual, and the selection into them is less negative. They also share with younger adults the enhanced positive and negative emotions that come with children. The misery of the elderly living with children is one of the prices of the demographic transition.

It surely gives a family something to think about when family caregiving is being considered.

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